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Audacity is causing uproar over the new data collection policy


Recent changes to the Audacity privacy policies have been imposed on certain users audio editing spyware app. The open-source software now collects user data for “app analytics” and “improving our app” as well as “for legal applications”.

The confidentiality policy was updated on July 2, following that of Muse Group by Audacity in April – Muse Group also owns Ultimate Guitar and MuseScore rating app. As reported by , the Muse Group policy note collects details on the user’s operating system version, processor, country based on IP address, crash reports and non-fatal error codes and messages . According to the policy, 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 collected for law enforcement purposes are more vague. The policy states that Muse Group will capture “data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authority claims (if any).” It may share personal data with “any competent body of law, regulators, government agencies, courts or other third parties where we believe the disclosure is necessary.” Data can also be shared with potential buyers.

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


The policy says that users ’IP addresses are“ stored identically ”for a day before they are hashed. This leaves them open to identification through law enforcement or government data requests.

Several other points in the privacy policy have raised some eyebrows, including a ban on minors under the age of 13 using Audacity. What, like Foss Post note, it violates the license under which Audacity is distributed. The General Public License prohibits restrictions on the use of the software. Engadget contacted the Muse Group for comment.

All is not lost for Audacity users who appreciate their privacy and pre-teens who play with audio in the app. Some users have been calling a software fork, a new version of the app based on the source code. It won’t be amazing to see the community take Audacity in that direction.

Until that fork arrives, privacy-conscious users may want to find alternative software, or at least prevent Audacity from accessing the Internet. After all, it’s a desktop app that has no tangible features online.

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