- Platform will accelerate players rights to protect, manage and control their data
- Central data management system will span careers of players, incorporating club, league, and national team data
- System will provide a comprehensive sharing hub for professional football industry
Today’s new wave of data capture technology exposes a common issue for professional footballers and the football industry: there is no common framework to allow players to protect, manage and control their data through a universal database.
Data collection, access and use often remains hidden and inaccessible to players, despite their rights under privacy laws. Under the leadership and initiative of FIFPRO and its 66 member unions, the development of a centralised player data management platform will address the need of players to control the use, application, and exploitation of their data in the workplace or outside.
The purpose of a centralised player data management platform
At the 2022 FIFA World Cup, volumetric tracking captured eight million data points per player per game, just as it will at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup also. In addition, millions of personal and performance data points of players are collected in training, club competitions and in their private lives on a daily or weekly basis.
Building on the FIFPRO FIFA Charter of Players’ Rights, which translates public privacy rights into the realities of the football industry, the player data management platform will provide the opportunity for players to access a player-centric data management system that helps to:
- Centralise personal data across the entire playing career
- Manage and control the application or use of personal data for specific purposes including performance management and coaching, match operations, employment, and commercial matters
- Enable the creation of an industry-wide and player-centric database
- Ensure data management and protection in the workplace
Professional players are a highly mobile and often international workforce and therefore require a centralised system to manage and control their personal data. Therefore, the platform will also help to centralise data collection, data flows, and data networks that are currently fragmented, and overcome barriers that exist between clubs, leagues, and national teams to benefit players and their careers.
Workplace Technology: Creating common industry standards
The career-long performance data footprint of players provides an expanding digital universe that offers sporting intelligence, opportunities, and risk in the workplace, as well as commercial opportunities.
While player data collection is a new frontier for professional football, the abrupt acceleration of next generation artificial intelligence – in the economy, in the workplace, and in the personal lives of players – underlines the need to swiftly address challenges, opportunities and questions at the intersection of people’s lives and technology.
The centralised player data management platform will serve as a catalyst to advance a broader industry dialogue regarding the use of technology and the purpose and context of player data collection and its application. Common challenges such as data standards, accuracy and labelling of data should be negotiated and agreed to help the industry to unlock the common benefits of technology and innovation.
The development of the platform intends to accelerate the digital transformation of the football industry, unify data flows, break down barriers to access, enable portability, and promote fair use.
As this is a first step to give agency to players who provide the data and create an ecosystem across markets, it is important to enable a strong dialogue among industry stakeholders to lay the foundation for the integration and management of advanced technology and innovation in the football industry.