Monday, 16 September, 2019

Spain's LaLiga app used audio recognition tech to catch users

The Spanish football league La Liga is headed by Javier Tebas The Spanish football league La Liga is headed by Javier Tebas Credit AP
Cecil Davis | 14 June, 2019, 20:32

Still, regulators weren't convinced that app users knew what they were signing up for. La Liga have said that at no time have they "recorded, stored or listened to any conversations" of their 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. El Diario reports that fans contain downloaded that app more than 10 million cases, basically turning them into undercover narcs.

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.

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.

But it turns out, it wasn't Facebook listening to you that you should be anxious about, it was a certain soccer league in Spain.

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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.

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.

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.

Facepalm: LaLiga has been fined €250,000 ($280,000) by La Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) for violating the European Union's data privacy laws.

However, La Liga has issued a statement refuting the claims and stating that it will appeal against the decision: "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".