Audacity will now share personal data with law enforcement and government agencies

Since 1999, Audacity has been the go-to software for people wanting to easily record audio. It's a popular tool for podcasters, YouTubers, musicians and anyone who needs to record a quick bit of audio. Unfortunately, it may no longer be safe.

Audacity is possibly spyware

Two months ago, Audacity was acquired by Muse Group, a company known for music software. Shortly after picking up the beloved open-source software, Muse Group has started implementing data collection features.

The latest version of the software comes alongside a new Privacy Policy. Muse Group states that they collect computer data such as your OS, IP address, CPU, error codes and crash reports. However, that's not the worst part.

Muse Group's additional features include data collected for law enforcement. The privacy policy does not disclose what data is given to law enforcement. It just says:

“Data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities' requests (if any).”
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Furthermore, the company explains that they will share harvested data with a collection of bodies. These include “staff members", the previously mentioned authorities, “auditors, advisors, legal representatives and similar agents" and any “potential buyers" of Audacity.

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Kinda open source

Audacity's history as an open source project means anyone can alter the program to their liking. With the news that the software now harvests data, it won't be long until fans create a new fork that doesn't do that. However, Muse Group has made precautions.

Audacity now has a new Contributor License Agreement for anyone creating new versions of the software. While the source code is avaliable on Github, anyone who downloads it now has to agree that Muse Group owns any modified code. This means that any new fork created will also be owned by Muse Group.

Fans aren't happy about this change. Many have stated that they will simply never update Audacity. Others are switching to alternatives like OcenAudio. Whatever the case, in two months, Muse Group is killing the good faith Audacity built up for 21 years.

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