Audacity is spyware really?

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Image: Hernan E. Schmidt (Shutterstock) – Audacity 3.0 is beginning to collect limited personal information in order to be shared with enforcement authorities and third parties. Audacity is a popular open source audio editor for podcasters and musicians. In May 2021, the Muse group acquired Audacity and the story begins there.

On July 2, Audacity’s privacy policy was quietly updated by the Muse Group. New terms copied directly from the privacy policy of the Muse Group. The new Data Protection Policy states that the App collects limited personal information to improve the application, and notes that the company may share and sell your personal data to potential purchasers.

FossPost states:

The parent company is a multinational and tried to launch a mechanism for data collection in the software. Those developers want to make Audacity a home phone using a variety of information collected from their machines while being nothing more than a desktop program.

No accounts or profiles are available to Audacity, so you don’t know your name, email address, or any other personal information. But things like IP, OS, OS version, OS names, CPU information, error and crash codes are being collected.

“The data for the law enforcement, litigation and authorities’ requests (if any)” is set out in the policy section of the “For Legal Enforcement.” This is ambiguous and up-to-date. Real IP addresses are saved and hacked for one day. However, this can be sufficient to find your location on a data request for local governments.

The data are stored in the Economic Area of Europe, although personal data may occasionally be shared between the Group’s headquarters in Russia and the US exchange counsel. This means that both Russia and the United States require the company to comply with data requests.

Another issue is how Audacity states that young people under 13 years of age are not allowed to use the application because minors are unable to agree to GDPR Privacy Policy.

There is no evidence that Audacity is leaking to any third parties or governments your private information, or the audio you are using in Audacity. However, it is the fact that Audacity has this new policy of privacy (without an opt-out) that upsets many user news who are not supported by volunteer users in the development of an offline open-source audio editor.

It is better to stop using Audacity or to use an older version if your position is so (the new privacy policy kicks in with the 3.0 update). You also can try moving to a different audio editor such as Reaper or Dark Audacity (which is based on an older version of Audacity, with a more modern interface).