Uber cab driver live streams passengers activities; suspended by Uber

In Missouri, where the rides took place, only one party needs to give permission to record, which means the taping was legal. Neither Lyft nor Uber answered questions Sunday about their policies, or what they do to stop or allow such behavior.

Using the online handle "JustSmurf", the driver is believed to have streamed almost all of his rides on Twitch.

The act of live streaming passengers without consent is technically legal in the state of Missouri, which is why Lyft and Uber didn't suspend Gargac immediately. Only 11 states mandate that everyone involved in a recording give their consent for it to be lawful, including California, Florida and IL.

Lyft said in a statement to The Washington Post that "the safety and comfort of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have deactivated this driver". "The driver's access to the app has been removed while we evaluate his partnership with Uber". However, this doesn't undo the fact that hundreds of female passengers had their information spread without their own knowledge or consent. "Driver partners are responsible for complying with the law when providing trips, including privacy laws", an Uber spokesman told the Post-Dispatch in early July.

"I've had a few offline conversations with some folks, and they suggested getting rid of the stored vods as step #1 of trying to calm everyone down", he said, referring to on-demand videos on Twitch.


However, nearly none of the passengers were told they were being filmed, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which reported on Gargac's Twitch channel last week. "Sorry. Unless you've got a time machine, that content is unavailable", Twitch tells users on his page.

Gargac told the Dispatch that he was just capturing "natural interactions between myself and the passengers - what a Lyft and Uber ride actually is". Before his channel was taken down, Gargac had 4,500 followers and around 100 subscribers, who paid $5 a month to watch his uploads.

Ride-hailing services have previously come under scrutiny for the behavior of their drivers. Recordings can document evidence for accident and insurance claims.

An Uber driver has been suspended after it emerged that he had been broadcasting his passengers' conversations live without their consent.

  • Kara Saunders