La Liga fined over illegal stream tracking

Soccer fans in Madrid

If it sounded as though they were in a boozer while glued to a TV, say, the user's location would be used by the software's overlords to verify the punter was in an establishment that had all the right paperwork and subscriptions for showing the game in a commercial setting.

Then, by using geo-location technology activated on the app user's device, LaLiga can determine the exact location of the establishment to find out if it is broadcasting the matches illegally. According to El Diario, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

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.

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

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. Instead, La Liga claims that the technology behind the app only captures an "audio fingerprint", meaning that human voices would not be able to be deciphered.


If you accept the specific and optional box enabled for this goal, 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 league has confirmed that it intends to appeal the ruling in court.

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

La Liga, the organising body for Spanish soccer's top two tiers, has been handed a €250,000 (US$283,000) fine for violating several European Union laws on transparency and data privacy.

They said they believe the AEPD "has not made the necessary effort to understand how technology works".

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