Report: La Liga Fined for App Improperly Using Phone Mics to Surveil Fans

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 27: Lionel Messi of Barcelona lifts the La Liga trophy after the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at Camp Nou on April 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

La Liga have reportedly been fined €250,000 (£222,664) for using their official app to spy on fans.

According to El Pais (h/t Spanish football writer Rik Sharma), the Spanish league did not inform users they were using the microphones in their phones to identify venues that were illegally showing La Liga matches:

Rik Sharma @riksharma_

La Liga fined for not informing users of their app that they were utilising their phone microphones to find bars illegally screening games https://t.co/ztsY43EUuA

La Liga admitted the surveillance last year, but they denied any wrongdoing at the time due to an optional clause for users upon sign-up, per James Cook of the Telegraph.

The Spanish Data Protection Authority has now issued a fine to the country's top division for the practice.

According to El Diario (h/t Cook), the app has been downloaded 10 million times around the world.

The 2018-19 La Liga season only wrapped up las month, with Barcelona being crowned champions for the fourth time in five years. The 2019-20 campaign will kick-off in mid-August.