La Liga has been fined after the league’s official phone app was discovered to have eavesdropped on illegal match broadcasts.
Recordings would be secretly compiled and then cross checked using the devices’ geolocation to determine if the venue hadn’t paid to screen the game.
The Spanish data protection agency has hit La Liga with a €250,000 fine and called the app a ‘very serious breach of transparency.’
The official match-following app has been downloaded by more than 4 million fans, who were not told it could remotely activate their device’s microphone.
The fine has been appealed by La Liga who have argued the technology was only designed to capture a ‘acoustic fingerprint.’
The hidden function was installed in the app to combat piracy, which costs the league around €400 million a year, according to La Liga.
However, the organisation has confirmed the eavesdropping function will be removed from the app at the end of the current La Liga season.