In the US, the driver Uber and Lyft secretly filmed customers on the camera and broadcast in Twitch

He did not violate local laws, but he lost his job in both services.

A shot from the driver's stream
A shot from the driver’s stream

32-year-old driver Uber and Lyft Jason Gargac from the American city of St. Louis secretly took passengers to the camera and conducted streams on Twitch. As reported by the local newspaper The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the services removed him from work after complaints.

In the commercials, passengers often called their names and addresses, and also discussed personal topics. According to the newspaper, since March 2018 Garzhak made 700 trips, and almost all of them were broadcast on Twitch. The video was saved on his channel in the next 60 days. The driver said that he could remove them earlier, but did not receive any complaints.

Some of the passengers noticed the camera, but the driver explained to them that he was “taking pictures for safety”. According to Garzhak, at first he warned passengers about the shooting, but eventually noticed that many of them are embarrassed. Then he stopped notifying clients about the broadcast.

I did not like it. It was unnatural. It was like a pre-recorded video.

Jason Garjak

Garzhak called his car “public space”, where he in his own way shows respect for customers. So, he added a censorship stub after one of the passengers accidentally showed the underwear under the skirt.

Partly it is because of the rules of service, in part because of respect for people. You know, I would not want my genitals to get into the camera, so I’m trying to show respect as I can.

Jason Garjak

For the sake of “privacy” of passengers Garzhak began to shut off the camera outside the cabin a few blocks before their home. He muffled the pronunciation of addresses, if he had time to do it, and at least two conversations: about drug addiction and financial situation.

At some point, Garzhak pasted a small sticker on the rear window with a warning about the shooting and automatic consent of the passenger. Garjak customers contacted by Post-Dispatch noted that they did not see the sticker.

Both Lyft and Uber released “pre-prepared answers” to questions from Post-Dispatch about the broadcast. The publication claims that the services “just noted that this practice is legitimate”.

Drivers-partners are responsible for compliance with the [state] laws when they are traveling, including privacy laws. Recording passengers without consent is illegal in many states, but not in Missouri.

Answer by Uber

After the first complaints Uber paid passengers $ 5 compensation and promised that Garjak would never come to their call. After the publication of the story, Uber first dismissed Garjak from work, and then ceased cooperation with him. Service explained that the driver’s actions differ from the company’s internal rules. Lyft deactivated the driver account.

A representative of Twitch, after publication, told the publication that the platform would remove the Garzhak stream if it received complaints about a violation of privacy. On July 21, the Garjack channel was removed from the platform: it had about 4,500 subscribers and about 100 of them were paid five dollars a month for streams.

Garzhak graduated from the police academy in 2017, and tries to get a job at the department. He said that the installation of cameras cost three thousand dollars. The driver confirmed to Post-Dispatch that he did not translate for money, but for the sake of a “sense of security”.

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