La Liga fined €250k for using fan app to detect illegal streams

La Liga fined €250k for using fan app to detect illegal streams

La Liga fined €250k for using fan app to detect illegal streams

The Spanish football league was allegedly using an app to spy on users and track down bars streaming league games without a license.

The data-protection watchdog ruled this week that La Liga did not adequately inform users about its monitoring practices when the software was installed and run on mobile devices: it simply asked once if it could use the mic, rather than make clear it was repeatedly accessing the audio sensor - as much as once per minute during matches.

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.

However, in a statement published by Reuters, La Liga denied any wrongdoing and asserted that it has always complied with data protection laws.

'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, ' the statement read.

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LaLiga has stressed that that the detection technology is not used outside of Spain, does not listen to user's conversations or voices, and is only adopted in the fight against "piracy in public establishments", which, it says, results in more than 150 million euros in lost revenues each year.

La Liga have said it will no longer be used from the end of this season [June 30] as originally planned but added they will "continue to test and implement new technologies to improve the experience of fans around the world, and at the same time, help combat the very serious scourge of piracy".

La Liga also contested the AEPD's ruling that it violates transparency, stressing that users must consent twice to activating the microphone function on the app.

As they submitted their written plea, La Liga said the technology used is created to exclusively generate an acoustic fingerprint.

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