A St. Louis driver who livestreamed his passengers online without their knowledge has been dropped from Uber and Lyft as well as Twitch.
Jason Gargac, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday, had been livestreaming his shifts driving for Lyft and Uber since March. The nearly 700 rides he gave were fodder for watchers making jokes about the drunk passengers and crudely evaluating women’s bodies.
Twitch, a livestreaming service mostly used by videogamers, was acquired by Amazon (AMZN) in 2014 for $970 million and has 15 million daily active users. Top content creators share in ad revenues Twitch generates, and users can give their favorite streamers tips. Gargac said he earned $3,500 from his streaming.
Missouri is a one-party-consent state, which means one person recording a conversation with another unwitting person is technically legal. But Twitch’s community guidelines expressly prohibit content that violates a person’s privacy.
Gargac defended his actions to the Post-Dispatch, saying other Twitch users did the same thing, though their notifying the passengers of the recording made the feeds less entertaining. He added a small sticker to his car’s window that said: “Notice: For security this vehicle is equipped with audio and visual recording devices. Consent given by entering vehicle.”
After the story went viral, Uber removed Gargac from the service Saturday night, and Lyft did the same on Sunday. Both companies said he violated their community guidelines for drivers, but neither company answered questions about drivers livestreaming.
Both Uber and Lyft have been struggling to enforce their community guidelines. Last year, a conservative activist was banned from both platforms for comments on Twitter complaining about Muslim drivers on the services.