La Liga fined after admitting app was listening to people through their smartphones
La Liga has said it will appeal the fine.
It's accepted that companies collect and use our data for what could be construed as nefarious ends.
There has long 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.
So much so that Facebook was forced to release a statement in 2016 where it denied eavesdropping on users and reiterated that it shows ads based on "people’s interests and other profile information".
But it turns out, it wasn't Facebook listening to you that you should be worried about, it was a certain soccer league in Spain.
Spain’s La Liga was fined €250,000 this week by the Spanish Data Protection Agency, one year after admitting that its mobile app was spying on some users’ phones in an attempt to find out if they were watching games on illegal feeds.
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.
The Data Protection Agency ruled that they broke several EU laws about transparency and consent.
La Liga has said it will appeal the fine handed out to them.
In a statement to El País (translated from Spanish), La Liga expressed disappointment with the decision and suggested the regulators were ignorant of the technology involved.
They said users were asked twice to give permission to use the smartphone's microphone and said it did not store any audio from users.
La Liga also said they only listened for a specific “sonic fingerprint” to catch the illegal streams and did not decipher conversations of users.