Audioedtior Audacity: This was not what we meant with data collection


^ “We deeply regret the failed communication caused by our first privacy policy document” – in plain words, the developers of Audacity hand over the olive branch to users of the audio editor. The immediate background is a dispute over what data the software is allowed to collect from its users.

However, this conflict was preceded by several controversies, which have followed quickly since the Muse Group took over the free project in May 2021: the room and also a fork called Tenacity quickly found acceptance.

Now the developers are at least trying to counter the worst reservations about the new privacy policy. The software sends information to the project only if there is an Internet connection. With these, Audacity only wants to fix errors in the program and check for updates. In addition, Audacity must not collect any additional data for law enforcement or other purposes.

Additionally, the advice that people under 13 should not use Audacity has been omitted. The latter was included in the original directive because the GDPR provides that this is the lowest age group for consent to the processing of personal data. According to its own statements, the project consulted lawyers who saw the restriction as unnecessary.

In certain circumstances, the fact that the app does not explicitly store personal data or share it with third parties may play a role here. The program sends the IP address – for example as part of an update check – to the project server and the project server also processes it. However, this also includes data anonymization. Audacity therefore expressly excludes the storage and transmission of the IP address.

All details can be found on the project’s GitHub page. User reactions are mixed. Several users particularly welcome the fact that the age limit has been removed. However, just as many users believe that this would not be enough and that it will not dispel previous claims. In any case, this idea and these excuses came too late.

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