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

Sevilla's forward Jose Antonio Reyes celerates after scoring during the Spanish league football match Malaga CF vs Sevilla FC

La Liga was fined $280,000 by the Spanish data protection agency for using their phone app to catch illegal streams of their games.

According to the El Diario report, after users give their consent for the app to use their device's microphone, LaLiga can remotely activate the mic to try to determine if the user is in a bar or public establishment that is showing football.

League officials did not inform users they were utilising the microphones in their mobiles to identify venues that were illegally showing top-flight games. Because of that, it was determined that La Liga was improperly collecting the personal data of users.

The league used the technology only on Android phones.

La Liga claims that the software protects individual users' rights because it doesn't record, store or listen to conversations. The AEPD has requested that LaLiga make it clear to the user when this process is taking place; however, the functionality was already due to be retired on 30 June this year and will be removed. The app does note within the phrases of service that by giving the app permission, customers are consenting to LaLiga the spend of their telephones to detect spurious behavior, fancy pirated soccer video games. The league has confirmed that it intends to appeal the ruling in court.

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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.

Spain's top football league has been hit with a large fine for not telling users it could turn on their phones' microphones and track their location.

"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".

In a statement in response to the fine, LaLiga said "it profoundly disagrees" with the AEPD's decision and rejected the "unjust, unfounded and disproportionate" penalty.

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