Audacity is causing a stir over the new data collection policy


Recent changes in Audacity privacy policy has led to some users audio editing spyware. Open source software now collects user data for “application analytics” and “improving our application” as well as “for legal enforcement”.

The privacy policy was updated on July 2, following the Muse Group Audacitya in April – Muse Group also owns Ultimate Guitar and the MuseScore notation app. As he reported , policy notes Muse Group collects details about the user’s operating system version, processor, country based on IP address, crash reports and error codes, and non-fatal messages. According to the rules, the processing of this data is “in the legitimate interest” of the company “to offer and ensure the proper functioning of the application”.

The data it collects for law enforcement reasons are unclear. The policy says the Muse Group will collect “data needed for law enforcement, litigation and government requests (if any)”. It may share personal information with “any law enforcement authority, regulatory body, government agency, court or other third party that we believe disclosure is necessary”. Data can also be shared with potential customers.

Users’ personal data is stored on servers in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, Muse Group “must occasionally share your personal information with our head office in Russia and our external advisor in the United States.” Muse Group noted that whenever personal data is “transferred outside the EEA to countries that the European Commission does not consider adequate, your personal data receives an appropriate level of protection in accordance with [the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation]. “

The rule states that users’ IP addresses are “stored in a recognizable manner” one day before they are hashed. This leaves users open to identification through law or government data requests.

Several other points in the privacy policy raised some eyebrows, including a ban on children under the age of 13 from using Audacity. That, like Foss Post notes, violates the license under which Audacity is distributed. The general public license prohibits restrictions on the use of the software. Engadget contacted Muse Group for comment.

Not all is lost for Audacity users who value their privacy and pre-teens who mess with the sound in the app. Some users are calls on fork software, a new version of the application based on the source code. It would not be surprising to see the community lead Courage in that direction.

Until that fork arrives, privacy-conscious users may want to find alternative software or at least block Audacity Internet access. After all, it is a computer application that does not have a tangible network function.

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