large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

La Liga is sniffing out and locating football pirates in a really creepy way

La Liga, one of the most-watched football leagues in the world, has found a sneaky way to get football fans to rat out pirates. Its official Android app, which has around 10 million downloads, doubles up as a spying tool.

During games, the app uses the microphone of the device it’s installed on to listen in to the user’s surroundings and work out if a La Liga match is being played in the vicinity.

Related: World Cup VAR

It then cross-references this with GPS data to figure out where the user is, and work out whether the game is being shown legally or illegally by a bar or similar premises that requires a license.

While La Liga is technically doing nothing wrong, as its app asks users for permission before spying, the details are buried in the privacy policy, which few people ever read in any sort of depth.

According to, which first discovered the functionality, the app is only able to do its spying through devices located in Spain.

La Liga says that “nobody accesses the audio fragments captured by the microphone”, and that none of the recordings are stored by the organisation.

Still, it’s a creepy way to go about your business. Since the news first broke, the La Liga app has been hit with a wave of negative reviews, with several users claiming to have now uninstalled it.

You can opt out by cutting off access to your microphone and GPS data in settings.

Is this the right way to go about tackling piracy? Share your thoughts @TrustedReviews.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.