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There is a ‘personal data’ battle emerging in the European soccer world that is most likely catching the attention of U.S. athletes and gambling interests as well, with some companies collecting and disseminating the personal information of athletes who are now pushing back.
As these footballers from the Premier League, Scottish Premiership, Women’s Super League, English Football League, and National League play ball, their cardiovascular thresholds and respiratory patterns are monitored, and that data is being used for free by certain companies.
These athletes and their lawyers recently sent out letters of action to these businesses warning them that if they continue to use this information without compensation to the athletes, they run the risk of being subject to legal action that would no doubt end up costing them even more.
It’s all according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) which ensures that all that data remains private and the property of those athletes.
That is, unless these companies are willing to pay.
In 2020, those same protesting athletes formed an official group they call “Project Red Card” to litigiously battle these gambling sites, video game developers, and data processing companies who are essentially stealing this personal data and using it to make money.
Not a problem as long as the athletes are properly and fairly compensated for that usage, and Project Red Card has made it their goal to collect what is owed those athletes since 2016 when these companies began using that personal data without the owners’ explicit permission.
The group is led by Russell Slade, co-founder of Global Sports Data and Technology Group and a former coach in English soccer, who says he is seeking the compensation due those athletes for the illegal data usage that has happened for over half a decade now, telling the media:
It only seems proper that companies making millions share some of this income with the people who create their wealth.
It’s a lot of money at stake here – almost half a billion dollars in total – and that much European coinage has no doubt caught the attention of athletes in America.
Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018, each state has been allowed to legalize, regulate, and tax its own sports betting market for residents, and during that time the use of so-called ‘official league data’ has gone mostly unchecked but not anymore.
Official league data means all the statistics, results, outcomes, and other data related to a sporting event including the personal data that the Project Red Card people are concerned with across the pond because now sportsbooks are paying money for access to that information.
It’s a can of worms worth sifting through for any pro or college athlete whose performances are being gambled on and profited from, yet another financial factor popping out of this new legal U.S. sports betting market that requires regulation and proper revenue distribution applied.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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