MacDirectory Magazine

Essentials for Graphic Designers

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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La Liga Faces Legal Penalty Kicks Our next feature concerns a Spanish soccer league called La Liga. As discussed before, the league intended to use its Android apps, downloaded and used by many of its fans, to listen in to user surroundings when they were out and about. Why? La Liga said that illegal rebroadcasts of its matches, often by pubs and restaurants, were costing it hundreds of millions of dollars a year in lost revenues. Their solution was to ask fans to let their app use their phone's microphone and GPS location services to listen for the unique audio signature of the game broadcasts. Once detected, La Liga could determine if it was a legal broadcast. If not, they would then move on to taking legal action against the establishment pirating their broadcasts. Previously, we supposed that La Liga was doing a lot of things right in its efforts to combat piracy: they asked users directly for permission, anonymized the data, made it easy to opt out, and only turned the listening functionality on during the games. Other steps, too, were taken to protect privacy with this functionality. Even so, people were not happy with La Liga, not only review bombing the app with 1 star on the Google Play Store, but taking the league to court, too. Those courts have now spoken, slapping La Liga with a fine that equates to almost $300,000 US under the GDPR rules in effect throughout the European Union now. We're not clear on whether or not La Liga admitted guilt after GDPR went into effect or if the courts simply found it to be too creepy for words, but the ruling was clear: enlisting all the users of your app to form a secret listening service runs afoul of digital privacy and security laws. Is this just a slap on the wrist? La Liga, for its part, says the fine is unfair, and that it did everything necessary to do things by the book — even, it says, asking users for permission not once but twice before activating the microphone using the app. The league has launched an appeal seeking to have the fines overturned. What will the outcome be? We can only guess, but we'll keep our ears to the ground so we can bring you an update when and if something new develops. Tapping it Out: Listening for Passwords We're headed from a sneaky soccer league to a crazy bit of eavesdropping as reported on by Business Insider. BI ran a piece about a particularly scary hack that could allow attackers to accurately guess a user's password by merely listening to the sound of their fingers tapping it out on the phone screen. How could that be possible? According to researchers from the University of Cambridge quoted in the piece, malware could be used to take over the device's microphones to pinpoint exactly where on the screen a user taps. By measuring the difference in the time it takes for sound waves to reach one microphone or the other, the malware can make an

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