German football club VfB Stuttgart has been ordered to pay €300,000 ($361,000) by Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Data Protection Authority (DPA) for misusing data about its members. The club has also promised to educate young people about the importance of data protection.

The club was accused of passing on private information which was potentially useful for marketing to third parties without informing members.

Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has ruled VfB Stuttgart committed a negligent breach of accountability under data protection law.

In addition to paying the fine and carrying out a “costly” restructuring and improvement of data protection management, the DPA said the club has agreed to make young people aware of data protection issues.

VfB Stuttgart will promote the Data Protection Goes to School project by supporting public relations work for days of action in schools and by making videos suitable for children and young people to raise awareness of the subject. 

In addition, the club is preparing data protection training courses for its youth teams.

VfB Stuttgart, which plays in Germany’s top division, the Bundesliga, said it accepts the fine and waives any further legal remedies.

CEO Thomas Hitzlsperger commented: “It is now important to use the measures that have already been initiated and are still pending in terms of data protection and compliance to rule out such violations in the future and to regain lost trust with our daily work.”

The outcome is extremely important for the integrity of the club and its members, he said.

PrivSec Global, a live streaming event, takes place on 23-25 March featuring more than 200 speakers and 64 sessions on privacy, data protection and cyber-security.