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The major global challenges in managing data to protect sporting integrity

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Friday, 26 January 2018 By Nick Fitzpatrick, Ruth Hoy


The author spoke at Sportel in October about data issues in relation to the regulation of sport, particularly in relation to data and betting integrity.

The topic raises a number of knotty issues:

  • "Data" is a technical area of law, both in IP terms, and because of the fresh consideration given to protection issues arising out of the General Data Protection Regulation.

  • In the gambling context, there is still a developing practice as to how the various stakeholders should best collaborate to preserve the integrity of sport (a matter of mutual interest), while preserving their own (often conflicting) commercial positions.

  • On betting integrity, practice is largely built on self-regulation and formal/informal collaboration between stakeholders. It's built around MoU's, contracts, working groups, collaborations and contacts as much as black letter law.

  • There are a series of emerging threats, the importance of which are yet to be fully understood: the integrity of data gathering, fake data (e.g. "ghost games"), use of "socket puppets" and other social media devices to spread misleading information.

This article considers key contemporary issues in managing data to protect sporting integrity, and looks specifically at:

Part 1:

  • The need for better collaboration among stakeholders

  • Self-regulatory models for information sharing

  • The global dimension

  • Obstacles to sharing information - data protection and the impact of GDPR

Part 2:

  • The implications on data in sport in light of improvements in technology

  • The legality of using an unofficial data source


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Written by

Nick Fitzpatrick

Nick Fitzpatrick

Nick is a media and sport lawyer with 20 years' experience, including substantial experience of negotiating and structuring complex arrangements for the exploitation of media rights across all platforms, brand exploitation, event organisation, sports administration, copyright, gambling and advertising.

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Ruth Hoy

Ruth Hoy

Ruth Hoy has great experience in media and intellectual property litigation, mainly acting for media and sporting clients.

Ruth has knowledge in contract, copyright, trademarks, passing off, confidential information, defamation and privacy.

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