Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

La Liga fined for spying on fans via app

La Liga fined for spying on fans via app

The agency found that La Liga did not adequately notify users about the app's surveillance components and therefore violated the basic principle of transparency under the European Union legislation.

If it sounded as though they were in a boozer while glued to a TV, say, the user's location would be used by the software's overlords to verify the punter was in an establishment that had all the right paperwork and subscriptions for showing the game in a commercial setting.

The app, which has been downloaded over 10 million times by Spanish football fans worldwide, is alleged by the AEPD to have failed to adequately inform users that it was activating their smartphones' microphones and monitoring their locations to detect pirated streams.

The ball-to-foot league also argues that it only receives code from the app that flags illegal streams, rather than audio recording, which would be a more brutal tackle of privacy.

La Liga will remove the microphone setting but will appeal the fine, saying that users were asked twice to consent to their microphone setting.

Apparently, the app's terms and services do explain to users that by accepting the T&Cs their phone will be used to detect fraudulent activities.

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La Liga in a statement to El País (translated from Spanish) expressed disappointment in the decision and accused regulators of not properly understanding the technology involved.

La Liga, the organising body for Spanish soccer's top two tiers, has been handed a €250,000 (US$283,000) fine for violating several European Union laws on transparency and data privacy.

The league said this year they reported 600 establishments for illegally broadcasting live games.

They said they believe the AEPD "has not made the necessary effort to understand how technology works".

"All this technology was implemented to achieve a legitimate goal", La Liga said, adding that it has a responsibility to use all technological advances at its disposal to "fight against piracy".

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