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Audacity could compromise your privacy, here is why

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By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Jul 04, 2021 10:49 pm
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Audacity audio editor
Photo: Audacity.

Dimapur, July 4 (EMN): Audio enthusiasts who are using Audacity as their Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software could have their privacy compromised after the software updated its desktop privacy notice on July 2, 2021.

The new privacy policies have been met with fierce criticism from the open-source community on GitHub and Reddit.

For the uninitiated, Audacity is a free open-source audio editor that was launched in 2000 and is hugely popular with audio recording and production studios.

The open-source software was acquired by Muse Group two months ago and things started to get dicey for the software after the acquisition. You see, right after Audacity was acquired by Muse Group, the company announced that it would be introducing “Telemetry” into the audio software. This did not go down well with the open-source community and the plans were dropped a week later.

However, a new update to Audacity‘s privacy policy was launched just two days ago and inevitably, it did not get a warm welcome from the community. The concern about data protection and distribution is a legitimate one after Audacity wrote on its privacy guidelines that it will share the user’s data with “any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court or other third party.”

Audacity privacy notice
Audacity’s new privacy policy. Photo: Audacity.

The company wrote that its reason to collect data was for “app analytics,” “improving our app” and “for legal enforcement.” Frankly, this is quite absurd as the company does not need data such as real IP addresses and other private information to improve its product. The company does not provide information about the type of data that Audacity may provide for “law enforcement, litigation and authorities’ requests” either.

Another problem with the new privacy policy is “Data storage and transfers of data.” According to Audacity, its users’ data is stored on servers in the European Economic Area and worryingly, Audacity confirms in the privacy notice that it is required to share your personal data with its main office in Russia and its external counsel in the USA.

Audacity data storage and privacy
Audacity says it will share user’s personal data with its main office in Russia and its external counsel in the USA. Photo: Audacity.

Although Audacity mentions that it will protect its users’ data and states that a user can request a restriction on the processing of personal data, the new update policy clearly fails to mention if they would ever stop sharing personal data with law enforcement agencies and third-party clients without the user’s permission.

Audacity‘s new update has had the entire open-source community calling for more privacy protection and the controversy continues to rage on in public forums across the internet. It will be interesting how Muse Group responds to the public outcry and whether or not Audacity will issue new privacy policies. For now, Audacity users should be worried about the invasion of their privacy and for good reason.

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By Tekato Longkumer Updated: Jul 04, 2021 10:49:31 pm