Bye, bye AudaCity after new privacy agreement

[German]The Audacity saga continues – as of July 2, 2021, there was another change to the audio application's privacy agreement. There, the new owner's management is keeping some back doors open to be able to collect telemetry data from the application and possibly from the use of this program. After the back and forth of the new management on telemetry and user data collection over the last two months, the community is pretty pissed. It seems it's time to say goodbye to the application. Here's a brief overview of the state of affairs.


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Audacity is a free audio editor and recorder that allows mixing and editing of any number of tracks of audio files. The Windows program has long been quite popular among users who need to edit audio data. However, the open-source audio software Audacity was recently acquired by Muse Group, which also put a new management in charge of operations. And within a short period of time, this management has managed to whip the community into quite a frenzy.

I had reported in early May 2021 in the blog post Audacity and its telemetry: New management's middle finger to the community about the new management's plans to add some "basic telemetry features" to the software. For example, they wanted to use Google Analytics to find out more about how the program was being used.

The move didn't go over well in the community and there was mighty anger. This apparently caused Muse management to an u-turn. But that was probably more of a maneuver to wait for the furor to die down. In the new privacy policy dated July 2, 2021, they explicitly reserve the right to collect personal data such as operating system version and details, the user's country, identified via their IP, CPU and error codes, and possibly data requested by authorities. Sounds harmless at the moment, but based on past history, people are skeptical.  Especially the last item in the mentioned list makes many observers sit up and take notice. On reddit.com there is a thread with corresponding discussions.

That a new license model was introduced at the end of May and the CLA (Contributor License Agreement) was changed, I had not noticed. In addition, new cloud services are also to be introduced. I think it's time for a user exit – and maybe to look for a fork of Audacity.


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