SPAIN’S MOST IMPORTANT SOCCER LEAGUE SPIED ON ALL THEIR FANS, TURNED THEM INTO NARCS WITH APP
What the hell? This is the kind of thing I expect to hear about with Facebook, or maybe that evil in-home listener from Amazon. But an app on your phone? Have you ever heard of a sports app that listened thru phone mics to hear if soccer fans were at bars that were illegally pirating soccer games? Well, you have now. So this is sure to make major waves. This happened in Spain. So their data protection agency has fined La Liga, which is Spain’s biggest pro soccer league, $283,000. They literally used their app, downloaded millions of times, to spy on bars streaming unlicensed soccer matches.
LA LIGA WOULD AUTOMATICALLY RECORD USERS IF IT THOUGHT THEY WERE IN A BAR
So what is the La Liga app supposed to do? It’s kind of like the NBA app here in the US. It gives schedules, player statistics and rankings, news, etc. It also “knows” when fans are watching soccer games and where they are when they do. League reps copped to authorities that when the La Liga App identified their users were in bars, the app would activate the microphone and record audio, remotely. They would then analyze the recording to see if the user was watching a soccer game. How? Think Shazam, but for soccer and not music. Then, with location data, the app would identify the bar and if they had a license to play the game.
WITH 10 MILLION DOWNLOADS, WE’RE TALKING HUUUUUUGE PRIVACY ISSUES, BUT LA LIGA REMAINS DEFIANT
So this is a big freaking deal. La Liga was spying on its fans. But it also turned them into unwitting snitches, to boot (ahem). 10 million users downloaded the La Liga app. So there are millions and millions and millions of illicit recordings, just because a soccer fan was in a bar. But here’s the thing. La Liga’s app had an opt-in for users to allow location data and access the microphone. But clearly, no normal person would imagine they were giving permission to spy on them at any time.
La Liga will appeal the sanction, saying the government just doesn’t understand the new technology. Hmmm.