Uber, Lyft suspend driver who recorded St. Louis passengers

4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Monday, July 23 2018 Jul 23, 2018 Monday, July 23, 2018 4:25:00 AM CDT July 23, 2018 in News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter and Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have suspended a driver who recorded hundreds of St. Louis-area passengers without their permission and live-streamed the video.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported 32-year-old Jason Gargac of Florissant, Missouri, has given about 700 rides in the area since March.

Almost all have been streamed to his channel on the live video website Twitch, where he goes by the username "JustSmurf."

The Dean of the Law School at the University of Missouri, Lyrissa Lidsky, said this is not, technically, illegal because Missouri is a one party consent state.

“Meaning that any party to the conversation, anybody that’s involved in the conversation, may tape that conversation,” Lidsky said.

But, Lidsky said she thinks the passengers are entitled to a certain amount of privacy.

"I think from the outrage that this case is generating you can see that the average person does not expect to be filmed and live-streamed to the world while they're in the back of a cab," she said.

Gargac said he's trying to "capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers," and he films for security purposes, as well.

Despite the security concerns, one Uber rider does not like the idea of being live-streamed.

“That’s kind of scary. I don’t think I would want to be filmed without my permission, or even knowledge," Samantha Soto said.

Uber has announced it is suspending Gargac's account and Lyft said it deactivated him as a driver.

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