LaLiga defends 'spy' app in battle against piracy
Spanish soccer’s top-tier LaLiga is at the centre of a row over the use of its app to ‘spy’ on users as it bids to battle pirate streaming of matches.
The mobile app, the league’s official streaming service, can be used to monitor the location of users and to activate microphones which can detect if users are watching an illegal stream at a public venue.
Under the small print of the terms and conditions of use of the app, users can unwittingly find themselves giving permission, according to critics, for access to user microphones and geopositioning “to detect fraud in the consumption of football in unauthorised public establishments.”
The issue was only brought to light as a result of the introduction last month of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, according to Spanish reports.
LaLiga defended the app, saying that pirated broadcasts of matches cost the company “losses of more than €150 million [$177 million],” and that LaLiga activates devices’ microphones “to develop statistical patterns on soccer consumption and to detect fraudulent operations of the retransmissions of LaLiga football matches.”
LaLiga said that no audio recordings will be managed or stored on its servers, only binary information.