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To anyone using the Audacity Sound editor. Beware.


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Anyone deciding to download the free and open-source audio editor Audacity is being warned that the software may now class as spyware due to recent updates to its privacy policy.

Audacity is a popular audio editing software tool that's been around for over 21 years. On April 30, the Muse Group acquired Audacity with the promise that the software would "remain forever free and open source." However, as FOSS Post reports, last week the Audacity privacy policy page was updated to add a number of personal data collection clauses.

The data collected includes OS version and name, user country based on IP address, the CPU being used, data related to Audacity error codes and crash reports, and finally "Data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities' requests (if any)."

The personal data collected can be shared with Muse Group employees, auditors, advisors, legal representatives and "similar agents," potential company buyers, and "any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation, or (ii) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights."

It's also stated that personal data is stored on servers in the European Economic Area (EEA), but that "we are occasionally required to share your personal data with our main office in Russia and our external counsel in the USA."

As you'd expect, the collection of personal data, the potential for it to be shared with law enforcement, regulators, and government, as well as there being the option to transfer it to Russia, has angered a lot of people. This is clear from visiting the Audacity GitHub and Reddit pages, and there are now calls to fork the software in order to revert back to a policy of not collecting such data from users who simply want to edit audio using the free software.

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