Player Performance Data Technology: Benefits and Risks

Professional football is a global spectator sport and its players have always been in the public eye. But today, new digital technologies, from the devices that can track every move and pass to the tools of artificial intelligence that can predict a player’s behaviour, have exposed athletes to ever-greater scrutiny.

In a world where new platforms can share their data with anyone, it is not surprising that players feel excited and concerned at the same time. This is what FIFPRO’s Player Data Survey is telling us. It helps us to understand how players see the benefits and the risks. The survey sends a clear message: players need reliable information, effective rules and strong governance.

New technology, new rules

If many players are protected by international laws such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, they rarely know and understand them. Worse still, the absence of such laws in some regions means that the playing field is uneven: some footballers are protected but many are not.

Last week, FIFPRO launched the Charter of Player Data Rights with a view to implementing global industry standards that protect the privacy of professional footballers and allow them to benefit from personal rights to manage and access information about their performance and health.

In relation to their personal data, the Charter of Player Data Rights makes clear that all professional footballers should have:

• The Right To Be Informed
• The Right To Access
• The Right To Revoke
• The Right To Restrict Processing
• The Right To Data Portability
• The Right To Rectification
• The Right To Complain
• The Right To Erasure

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