La Liga Fined For Misusing Phone App

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The app, which is used by fans to check match scores, schedules, and news, also had the ability to track users' locations and activate their microphones remotely.

As a result of the revelations, Spain's national data protection agency (AEPD) has fined LaLiga 250,000 euros for not adequately informing users that the app can activate their microphones and monitor their location. Despite appealing the fine, La Liga plans to remove the microphone feature from its app by the end of the month.

Spanish daily El Diario reports that LaLiga has been using the app, which has been downloaded 10 million times, to identify bars that are showing matches illegally in a bid to clamp down on piracy.

La Liga said in a statement that the technology was implemented to combat piracy, with fraud costing them an estimated €400 million per year. The AEPD, Spain's data protection agency, said that such a usage should be made explicitly clear to the user and not be buried deep in the legalese.

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.

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.

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

According to La Liga, for the microphone function on their app to be activated, the user "must expressly, proactively and, on two occasions, give their consent", hence it can not be accused of a lack of transparency or information regarding this functionality.

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