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(Pocket-lint) - The Spanish football league, LaLiga, has been fined €250,000 (£222,707) for spying on fans through its official smartphone app.

It was discovered that the app was using the phone's microphone to listen in on fan activity and, especially, whether they were watching illegal streams of live LaLiga football matches shown in pubs and bars.

The snooping, combined with GPS details also gleaned from the handset, gave LaLiga the exact location of offenders, enabling them to find and prosecute pirates.

Now LaLiga has been prosecuted itself.

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As reported by Spanish newspaper El Pais, the country's Agency for Data Protection fined LaLiga for not informing customers on its spying behaviour, nor requesting permission to use the microphone, rather than the act itself.

LaLiga plans to appeal the decision saying that the Agency did not make "the necessary effort to understand how technology works".

It has also confirmed that it is updating the application to remove the microphone functionality from the end of June. It will no longer spy on users in this fashion from next season.

The soccer organisation has, however, also stated that it will look to test and implement other technologies to combat match streaming piracy in future. 

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 14 June 2019.