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A never seen before case has occurred in the UK last week: following the reports of the BBC and The Guardian a group of over 850 football players are threatening legal action against several companies, including betting and gaming companies. They state that these companies are misusing their personal data, and they are requesting compensation for this.

No consent to the use of personal data

The legal team behind this is saying that as the players receive no payment for the unlicensed use of their data, this processing contravenes the GDPR. They also comment that this data is being used without the consent of the players.

When asked to comment, J Cromack, Lead Product Evangelist at DataGuard responded with the following:

“I’m not sure there is anything in the GDPR which says fees must be paid to people for collecting and processing their data! I think this is an angle for footballers to license their data, like they license their image rights.”

Further, he suggests that consent might not be the most appropriate lawful basis for this processing.

“Without getting too technical, the organisation collecting the data and then commercialising it would need to comply with Article 14, as it is data not collected from the individual. I expect the data trader is processing the data under their legitimate interest as it has been deemed low risk”

Our assessment

This is an interesting case and if successful could have wide-reaching impacts across other sports where players could follow suit and raise their own legal case against the companies processing and trading off their data.

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