Spanish Soccer League app spies on users to track down game stream hackers

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La Liga, Spain’s top professional football league, has been fined by the national data protection agency for spying on fans with the league’s smartphone app.

The league used the microphones of smartphones with the app installed as part of its surveillance of bars and other establishments broadcasting matches without authorization.

Delete your privacy

The feature (can we call it a bug instead?) Was forcing users to sign up, but the data protection agency decided that notifying users was not enough. spanish newspaper El País reports that when the app thought users were in a bar via geolocation, the microphone would turn on to record audio.

A technology similar to Shazam would then decide whether or not a La Liga football match was played. If so, officials would check whether that bar was allowed to show the games or not.

With 10 million downloads, the La Liga app puts a spy in every user’s pocket. If the Spanish data protection agency had not thwarted this abuse, La Liga would have continued to spy on the population. Still, it is unlikely to stop the espionage.

  • 250,000 euros ($ 283,000 USD) is a blow to the wrist compared to annual La Liga revenue
  • The data protection agency also ordered the removal of the app by June 30 (presumably to remove the spy component)
  • La Liga have become more aggressive against pirated streams recently, this ruling will only temporarily slow their attacks

I think it won’t be long before we report on another La Liga spy method. It has already been said he would appeal the sanction, saying it was unwarranted because the data protection agency had not attempted to understand the technology used. 1-0 to privacy in the first half, continue!

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