Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Google Play Has Your Copyright Spyware

If you ever wanted one of those James Bond gadgets, here's your new spyware.

The app, available from Google Play, even has an international flare. The Spanish soccer league La Liga made it to track unlicensed broadcasts of its games.

Download it for free and voila! You're a copyright spy.

Copyright Spy

Of course, there are complications. When you activate the app, it turns on your microphone and enables your GPS.

That means the soccer cops hear you and know where you are. That's how they find the bad guys, 007.

They won't send missiles to your location, but somebody -- probably in a dark suit --will investigate. That could be really embarrassing, say, if you're just stirring a martini at the local sports bar.

La Liga says, not to worry. It will only work during soccer games, and will only work when you grant permission.

Don't Touch That!

Ars Technica, the arch enemy of cybersnoops, doesn't like it. The ezine warns users not to activate the app.

"If ever there were a case for rejecting requested device permissions, it's made by an Android app with more than 10 million downloads from Google Play," Dan Goodwin wrote.

The spyware collects information that others could use against you. Your IP address, app ID, and audio files could "provide a fair amount of information over time about a user," he says.

So think twice about downloading the app. Like Q sometimes had to tell Bond, "Don't touch that!"

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