Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

La Liga fined €250,000 by Spanish data protection agency for misusing app

La Liga fined €250,000 by Spanish data protection agency for misusing app

Some other apps try to use the same features to gather information, if they're not blocked by users. However, the agency stated that La Liga failed to notify users that the app could turn on their smartphone microphones and track their location at any time. When it detected that users were in bars, the app would record audio - much like Shazam - to determine if a game was being illegally shown at the venue.

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 a game was playing in the vicinity, officials would then be able to determine if that bar location had a licence to play the game.

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. El Diario reports that the app has been downloaded 10 million times.

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.

It says users must twice give their consent for the microphone function to be activated.

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. Activation of both the microphone and geopositioning of your mobile device will require your prior acceptance of our pop-up window.

However, the data protection agency ruled that La Liga did not properly inform users, thereby violating their privacy, according to El País.

Spanish football league La Liga has been fined €250,000 for being in violation of data protection laws. In 2017, La Liga launched an anti-piracy campaign, enlisting the help of Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and employing a proprietary tool to scan the internet for illegal streams.

In a statement, the league said: "La Liga disagrees profoundly with this decision; rejects the penalty imposed as unjust, unfounded and disproportionate; and considers that the AEPD has not made the necessary efforts to understand how the technology works".

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

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