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Audacity 3.0 called spyware on changes in data collection by the new owner

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Audacity, the well-known open source audio editing software, has been called spyware in a report, with changes to the privacy policy revealing that the tool is collecting data about its users and sharing it with other companies, in addition to sending the data. data to Russia. .

Audacity was acquired by Muse Group In May, a company that also controls Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore and Tonebridge. Since the purchase of Audacity, changes have been discovered in the online support documents that indicate that it is being used to collect data about its users.

The privacy policy page for Audacity it was updated on June 2, reports Fossspost, with some additions related to the collection of personal data. Specifically, that the application collects a variety of details related to Mac users.

The data list includes the operating system and version, the user’s country based on their IP address, non-fatal error codes and messages, crash reports, and the processor in use. In the data collected “for legal compliance”, the software collects “data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and requests from authorities (if any)”, although not specifically what data is collected in such cases.

IP addresses are stored “identifiably for one calendar day only”, stored as a hash with a salt that is changed daily. The hash is stored for a year before it is removed, although the company also claims that the salt “is not stored in any database and cannot be retrieved after it has been changed.”

It is claimed that one day of storage is enough for a government entity to identify a user, with sufficient resources and legal authority.

The data is said to be stored within the European Economic Area, although the policy language also mentions that the company “is occasionally required to share your personal data with our main office in Russia and our external adviser in the United States.”

Personal data may also be shared with a long list of entities, including “advisers” and “potential buyers”, as well as law enforcement agencies, regulators, courts, and other third parties.

While the app was previously available to all ages under the GPL, the privacy policy also includes language that says that people under the age of 13 “don’t use the app.” This is considered a violation of the GPL license under which Audacity is published.

Conversations in both Reddit other GitHub They have included talking about a fork of Audacity in a new project, in an attempt to remove it from data collection and license alterations.

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