Is La Liga’s slap on the wrist a win for piracy?
By Daniel Brown, Lead Data Strategist @ PTI Consulting
When two wrongs don’t make a right! A fine has been given to the Spanish top football division La Liga. The reason? Snooping on users with inbuilt app technology primarily built to stop piracy.
Piracy is a challenge that sits across every major sporting league and in an attempt to protect themselves, they have unfortunately landed themselves with this substantial fine. However, is the word unfortunate right? Maybe they should have been transparent with the implications of technology and the complexity of data. Instead, through not having tight terms and conditions and privacy policies in place reputational damage has occurred without having solved the original problem.
Is this now the tipping point for sport, apps, data and compliance? We are a year into GDPR and there have not been that many fines of note in this sector. We could now see it spiral in both directions; with individuals who are doing something illegal in the form of piracy coming back at you with regards to your own snooping alongside members of the public feeling empowered to own their data and becoming more aware of its uses.
It’s all very interesting and it opens the door to look at the sports and entertainment world. Who will be able to stop piracy without breaking the new data protection laws? Hint – you better have your policies in place to enable the investigation to be done without comeback.
- Accountability – who is going to be the controller, processor and/or sub-processors and how may this data be used?
- Visibility – how can you change your preferences, understand what is happening in detail and is it understandable in consumer language, not in that of the articles of GDPR which means little to the masses. You have to strike that correct balance between legal protection for your company and understandable transparency for the consumer
One of the interesting perspectives in this case, could be if they hadn’t of had this fine, La Liga would have been held up as a champion for anti-piracy, trying to keep illegal activity out of the sport and act as a bit of a shining beacon? Arguably yes – as many rightsholders are looking at the area. However, I think that La Liga will be conservative and switch off that part of the app ability and act quickly to make sure fans are aware of what they are doing.
My top 3 tips for data collection
Data is anything you are collecting and must have a positive opt-in. You have to be clear up front what you’re doing and why. So, be clear up front, get the positive opt-in, say what you’re doing it in terms of the benefit to the fan, to enhance their journey and you then start to build that trust.
Not all consumers are lawyers!
Process makes perfect!
Ensure that your process and back end systems deal with the data you collect in the optimal way. A recent example we’ve been involved in saw a fan of a Premier League client request all information on the data they held for him as an individual. The club had all the correct procedures in place in terms of communicating back, in terms of giving the information that’s been collected, the dates, the timestamps etc. This ensures trust is built between the club and the fan and holds up to an independent assessment should this come.