Published in Mobiles

Official football app was accessing fans' microphones

by on13 June 2018

GDPR does not apply to football

Spanish football league La Liga has defended the privacy policy of its app after admitting it was accessing the microphone and GPS of Android users.

The app, downloaded more than 10 million times on the Google Play Store, has been criticised by fans who felt that given the fact they handed over huge amounts of money to support overpaid sportsmen kick a ball around, the league should be leaving them alone.

La Liga said it had been trying to track down venues illegally broadcasting matches, by matching audio data and phone location. This being football was far more important than the rights of fans we guess. After all  broadcasting of football matches in public places without a paid licence cost the game an estimated 150 million euros (£132m; $177m) a year, it said.

The new function was enabled on Friday, 8 June.

In a statement on its website (in Spanish), La Liga said that it had asked for consent at the point at which the app was either installed or updated.

It added it had received the microphone data only as code rather than audio, and that it could match that code with audio data from a match.

Leaving a review on the Google Play Store, one accused the app of turning users into police informants without them realising.

"Spying on you by microphone!" wrote another.

Last modified on 13 June 2018
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