La Liga Fined For Misusing Phone App

Soccer fans in Madrid

Soccer fans in Madrid

The AEPD told ESPN FC on Wednesday that La Liga had been fined for a "very serious infraction" regarding the use of the official app. According to El Diario, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

League officials did not inform users they were utilising the microphones in their mobiles to identify venues that were illegally showing top-flight games.

La Liga, Spain's premier soccer league, was fined 250,000 euros on Tuesday for failing to adequately notify Android app users that it was recording what was going on near their phones.

They then could use geo-location technology in the app to determine the exact location to find out if it was showing matches illegally. The technology it used is similar to Shazam but for soccer games.

But it turns out, it wasn't Facebook listening to you that you should be anxious about, it was a certain soccer league in Spain.

However, it stressed that the technology does not enable it to listen to users voices and conversations.

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However, in a statement sent to SportBusiness Professional, LaLiga protests that users must "expressly, proactively and on two occasions grant their consent" for the app to access the microphone and location data, and adds that no audio is recorded, stored, or listened to by another person at any time. Only by digging into the terms of service is it revealed that users were consenting to allow LaLiga to use their phones as a spying device to detect pirated football games.

La Liga has said it will appeal the fine handed out to them.

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.

The agency fined the La Liga for violating European Union data privacy and transparency laws, and ordered the league to take down the app by June 30.

La Liga plans to continue using its fans in that fight against piracy.

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