Tech

Spain’s LaLiga app used audio recognition tech to catch users

Spain’s LaLiga app used audio recognition tech to catch users

La Liga have said it will no longer be used from the end of this season [June 30] as originally planned but added they will "continue to test and implement new technologies to improve the experience of fans around the world, and at the same time, help combat the very serious scourge of piracy".

The soccer league argued that users were asked twice by the app for their consent to access their phone's microphone, and did not store any actual audio from its users.

The app, which was downloaded 4 million times, tapped into its user's microphones to find bars that were illegally broadcasting matches.

League officials did not inform users they were utilising the microphones in their mobiles to identify venues that were illegally showing top-flight games.

Nonetheless, the app asked a user's permission to use the microphone and Global Positioning System but was not transparent in how it will use them.

The apps would then use the recording to determine if the user was watching a soccer game, using technology that's similar to the Shazam app.

More news: New Zealand Massacre Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Terrorism, Murder Charges

There has always 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.

LaLiga has been using the microphones of users of its app and geo-location technology to "spy" on bars showing Spanish domestic football games. The league told El Diario that the app automatically turns the audio into a code that is not stored or listened to by employees.

It was in the terms of service where it disclosed that users were agreeing to let LaLiga use their phones as a spying device to track on pirated football games.

But the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD) reckons this soccer snooping is foul play, as LaLiga has failed to be properly transparent with the budget Bond-like tactics its app applies.

In a statement on Wednesday, La Liga said it "disagrees deeply" with the data protection agency's decision and accused it of not making "the necessary effort to understand how the technology works".


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