La Liga fined £225k after failing to inform app users of permissions

Yolanda Curtis
June 14, 2019

They then could use geo-location technology in the app to determine the exact location to find out if it was showing matches illegally. Despite appealing the fine, La Liga plans to remove the microphone feature from its app by the end of the month.

Users had to give consent for the app to use their device's microphone. Because of that, it was determined that La Liga was improperly collecting the personal data of users.

There has always been speculation in some corners that certain companies, in particular, social media companies use your phone microphone to gather data to hit you with targeted ads. The league told El Diario that the app automatically turns the audio into a code that is not stored or listened to by employees.

La Liga also said they only listened for a specific "sonic fingerprint" to catch the illegal streams and did not decipher conversations of users.

If you accept the specific and optional box enabled for this objective, you consent to the access and use of your mobile device's microphone and geopositioning functionalities so that LaLiga knows from which locations football is being streamed and thus detect any fraudulent behaviour by unauthorised establishments.

The app would ask for permission to access the microphone and Global Positioning System data, but the AEPD says this was done in an "opaque" manner.

But the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) reckons this soccer snooping is foul play, as LaLiga has failed to be properly transparent with the budget Bond-like tactics its app applies.

"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".

"LaLiga 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", the statement reads.

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