Has Audacity become a “spyware”? Maybe, but users would do well to read the new Privacy policy

On the net, discussions are multiplying against the new Privacy policy adopted by Audacity, one of the best known audio editors on Linux. The program – a darling of long-time users given its ease of use, minimal interface and variety of functions – was recently acquired by the Muse Group, an entity that also controls programs such as Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore and Tonebridge, and users immediately began to fear that something might “break”.

Unfortunately, the pessimists seem to have been right, given that on June 2 a new policy was published that was profoundly modified and which contains several elements that are unclear and alarming for the privacy of users. The new rules specify that the program can collect a large and unidentified amount of personal data and related to the system on which it is installed to share them in case of need due to “application of laws, causes and requests from state authorities “. In addition, the policy states that the same data could be exchanged with “third parties, consultants and potential buyers” .

In addition to messages and error codes, crash reports and processor type, the program also collects the IP address and stores it in an identifiable manner for 24 hours before encrypting it. This time frame, however short it may appear, would actually be sufficient to allow government entities to identify users. Finally, even if it is declared that the data collected will remain in the European Economic Area, the policy vaguely mentions the possibility that they will be transferred to the USA or Russia .

Curiously, the ban on using Audacity for children under 13 was introduced . This element strengthens the convictions of those who see the application now as a way to collect personal data, given that according to the GDPR below a certain age (established individually by each State) consent to the processing of data cannot be granted. If you are passionate about the topic, on Reddit and GitHub you will find rather heated discussions in which the arrival of a fork of Audacity is announced.