Tag Archives: la liga

La Liga Fined €250K For Breaching GDPR While Spying on Piracy

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/la-liga-fined-for-breaching-gdpr-while-spying-on-piracy-190612/

With millions of fans around the globe, Spain’s La Liga soccer league is one of the most popular in the game.

To allow fans to keep up with all the latest news, La Liga offers an Android app with a number of features including schedules, kick-off times, and the all-important results.

Controversially, however, the app also has a surprising trick up its sleeve.

After gaining consent from users, La Liga’s software turns fans’ phones into spying devices which are able to analyze their surroundings using the microphone, listening out for unauthorized broadcasts in bars and restaurants, for example. This audio, collected Shazam-style, is then paired with phone GPS data to pinpoint establishments airing matches without a license.

The feature was outlined in the app’s privacy policy along with stated uses that include combating piracy.

“The purposes for which this functionality will be used are: (i) to develop statistical patterns on soccer consumption and (ii) to detect fraudulent operations of the retransmissions of LaLiga football matches (piracy),” the policy read when first uncovered last summer.

While controversial, La Liga felt that it was on solid ground in respect of the feature and its declaration to app users. AEPD, Spain’s data protection agency (Agencia Española de Protección de Datos), fundamentally disagrees.

As a result, AEPD has hit La Liga with a significant 250,000 euro fine for not properly informing its users in respect of the ‘microphone’ feature, including not displaying a mic icon when recording.

The data protection agency said that La Liga’s actions breached several aspects of the EU’s GDPR, including a failure to gain consent every time the microphones in users’ devices were activated.

In a statement, La Liga says it “disagrees deeply” with the AEPD’s decision and believes the agency has “not made the effort to understand how the technology works.” Announcing it will go to court to challenge the ruling, La Liga says it has always complied with the GDPR and other relevant data protection regulations.

Noting that users of the app must “expressly, proactively and on two occasions give their consent” for the microphone to be used, La Liga further insists that the app does not “record, store or listen” to people’s conversations.

“[T]he technology used is designed to generate only a specific sound footprint (acoustic fingerprint). This fingerprint only contains 0.75% of the information, discarding the remaining 99.25%, so it is technically impossible to interpret the voice or human conversations. This footprint is transformed into an alphanumeric code (hash) that is not reversible to the original sound,” La Liga says.

AEPD has ordered La Liga to introduce new mechanisms to ensure that users are properly notified when the anti-piracy features of the app are in use. However, La Liga says it has no need to implement them because at the end of the current season (June 30, 2019), the functionality will be disabled.

“La Liga will continue to test and implement new technologies and innovations that allow us to improve the experience of our fans and, of course, fight against this very serious scourge that is piracy,” the league concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

LaLiga & Rights Alliance Win Dynamic Football Piracy Blocking Order

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/la-liga-rights-alliance-win-dynamic-sports-piracy-blocking-order-190426/

Movies, TV shows, and music have all proven popular with online pirates for years but with fast Internet connections now widespread, streaming live television is on the increase.

This presents a unique problem for football leagues hoping to generate large revenues from fans keen to catch the big game on TV.

There are dozens of pirate sites available today willing to provide that content for free, a point not lost on Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance (RettighedsAlliancen). Figures provided by the group indicate that between February 2018 and February 2019, locals made 18 million visits to the most popular illegal live sports services.

To help counter this threat, Rights Alliance teamed up with Spanish top-tier football league LaLiga in legal action designed to prevent local Internet users from accessing the sites.

In a case filed on February 8, 2019, LaLiga demanded that local ISP Telenor should prevent its subscribers from accessing 10 sites (list below) that infringe its copyrights by showing live matches. LaLiga suggested DNS blocking as a possible method but Telenor asked for the whole injunction to be denied.

LaLiga stated that that previous rulings from the European Court of Justice found that the English Premier League owned copyright in its broadcasts, which included videos, music, highlights of previous matches and graphics.

When these are made available to the public, it is only the rightsholder that holds an exclusive license to do so. The same holds true when such broadcasts are made available to a “new audience” – i.e one that the rightsholder hadn’t initially taken into account, such as unauthorized streaming over the Internet of an otherwise terrestrial broadcast.

As is becoming typical in similar cases, the local court referenced other important rulings from the EU Court, including GS Media, BREIN v Ziggo and BREIN v Filmspeler, to determine if the protected works were being made available to the public in contravention of EU law.

Nine of the ‘pirate’ services listed in the complaint were ultimately deemed to be infringing due to them offering copyrighted works and generating revenue via advertising. The tenth, Spain-based RojaDirecta, requested more time to respond to LaLiga’s complaint, so the site will be dealt with at a later date.

On April 15, 2019, the Court of Frederiksberg handed down its order, which requires Telenor to block the listed sites using a “technical solution” such as DNS blocking. The provider is also required to block other domains that appear in future which facilitate access to the same sites. These will be advised by Rights Alliance under strict rules laid down by the Court.

Under the Danish ISP Code of Conduct, other major ISPs in Denmark will also implement the blocks against the sites in the complaint.

This is an important case in Denmark for both LaLiga and Rights Alliance, one that paves the way for blocking of unlicensed live sports and general TV portals in general.

LaLiga’s Audiovisual Director Melcior Soler welcomed the decision.

“Audiovisual Piracy is illegal and has great consequences, not only for us, but for the league and the future of the game, so we are very happy that RettighedsAlliancen has joined us in the fight. We know that Denmark is at the forefront of the development of digital tools to fight online piracy, and this is a big issue for us,” Soler said.

“We are now looking forward to seeing the effects of the blockings and hope that they can serve as an example for other countries, so that we can stand together in the fight against online piracy.”

The full order (supplied to TF by Rights Alliance) can be found here (pdf).

The site names, which are partially redacted in the order, are as follows:

  • livetv*****
  • tvron*****
  • ronaldo7****
  • kora-star****
  • live.harleyquinnwidget****
  • myfeed2all****
  • stream2watch****
  • jokerlivestream****
  • kora-online****

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.