MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,211
16,027


audacity-200x200.jpg
Popular open-source audio editing software Audacity is facing "spyware" allegations from users for recent privacy policy changes that suggest the desktop app is collecting user data and sharing it with third parties, including state regulators where applicable.

Two months ago, Audacity was acquired by Muse Group, which owns other audio-related projects including the Ultimate Guitar website and the MuseScore app. According to Fosspost, changes to the privacy policy section on the Audacity website indicate that several personal data collection mechanisms have since been added by the parent company.

The type of data collected now includes the computer's processor, operating system and version, the user's IP address, and any crash reports, fatal error codes and messages generated by their machine. More concerning perhaps is the inclusion of a vague section listing data that must be collected "for legal enforcement, litigation, and authorities' requests (if any)."

The storage of said data is located in servers in the U.S., Russia, and the European Economic Area. For example, IP addresses are stored in an identifiable way for a day before being hashed and then stored in servers for a year, leaving users identifiable via government data requests.

In addition, the new policy prevents people under the age of 13 from using the software, which is a violation of the GPL license that Audacity uses.

Understandably, the policy changes have upset Audacity users, who have taken to Reddit and GitHub to question why an offline desktop app needs to "phone home" at all, and there is already discussion about forking Audacity into a separate open-source project that's free from the Muse Group's ownership and questionable data collection practices.

Article Link: Audacity 'Spyware' Claims Follow Privacy Policy Changes By New Owner
 

Bubble99

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
663
157
Yep and these sheep are going to install it. That why we can’t have nice things in the US any more because humans are scumbags.

If I had that app installed I would remove it ASAP. If everyone did that than that company can go out of business. And I would not shred a tear.
 
Comment

fredrik9

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2018
266
306
Sweden
This would have no effect at all on this kind of issues. All a VPN can do is hide your traffic from your ISP, in exchange for making it visible to the VPN company: there's no practical effect on your privacy.
It would have no effect in this case no, since the app is installed on your machine. However, VPNs can be more trustworthy than an ISP since that is a selling point of big VPN providers. Many have a ”no logging” policy which you just can’t get from your ISP. Therefore, by choosing a trustworthy VPN provider with published third-party audit reports, you can get a higher chance of privacy.
 
Comment

scheinderrob

macrumors regular
May 6, 2021
110
331
This would have no effect at all on this kind of issues. All a VPN can do is hide your traffic from your ISP, in exchange for making it visible to the VPN company: there's no practical effect on your privacy.
not true. a VPN can be used to block this kind of connection altogether although it can just as easily be done with something like pihole or pfblocker.
 
Comment

Bubble99

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
663
157
This would have no effect at all on this kind of issues. All a VPN can do is hide your traffic from your ISP, in exchange for making it visible to the VPN company: there's no practical effect on your privacy.
no

I can select VPN in LA or any VPN server in the world and set person would only see the VPN company IP address on their website or set websites grabbing IP address and not my real IP address.

But VPN will not help if you have spyware on your computer collecting lots of information and phoning home every day.

This software is spyware and collecting information and set person should just remove it. There is nothing person can do to stop it it just spyware and too risking to leave the software on the computer.
 
Comment

zaddiq

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2020
8
8
All a VPN can do is hide your traffic from your ISP, in exchange for making it visible to the VPN company: there's no practical effect on your privacy.
Not true, VPN's technically decrease your privacy. Redirecting all of your traffic to companies run by the NSA under the guise of "protecting your privacy" simply makes it easier for the government to monitor your data. If you think about it, its the ideal scheme. People with the most to hide are opting in to NSA monitoring. I don't understand why people opt in to government monitoring if their internet connection.
 
Comment

Bubble99

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
663
157
I don't understand how GPL software could be "sold" in the first place?

Was it free and open source? If it is than I’m not sure how that happed.

But if it was a free and open source than some one will just fork it and rebrand it before the company bought it and call it some thing else.

Well the software is no longer open source now?
 
  • Like
Reactions: gmarra36
Comment

attila

macrumors 6502a
Any software, open source or not, has an owner. Ownership rights can be sold. The owner can change the license in future versions or distribute non-GPL versions.
Others may fork it, but they will have to follow GPL terms.
The scummy part is that they changed the privacy notice, but not the license.
 
Comment

Bubble99

macrumors 6502a
Mar 15, 2015
663
157
Not true, VPN's technically decrease your privacy. Redirecting all of your traffic to companies run by the NSA under the guise of "protecting your privacy" simply makes it easier for the government to monitor your data. If you think about it, its the ideal scheme. People with the most to hide are opting in to NSA monitoring. I don't understand why people opt in to government monitoring if their internet connection.
Just the other day in news I read the police raided a VPN company because some hacker was using VPN to do attack on some business.

Well some VPN do logging and are mostly free VPN and the VPN you pay for it well they claim they do no logging but you only have their word for it. And I'm sure there are some VPN in the US who are own by the police.

Real hackers use VPN out side of the US and many VPNs and are mobile using mobile hotspots. To make tracing really hard.

But with cameras popping up every where now on the street and in the stores even this is not 100% proof you will not get caught. As if you sitting in park using mobile hotspot or in van by restaurant using their hotspot there may be video of you. As the cops raid the VPN company than other VPN company than other VPN company than to park or coffee shop than bring up the video.As every bar, restaurant, store, mall and just every where now has cameras.
 
Comment

chris1958

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2018
75
62
You can still find the source code in the GitHub-repo. Instead of spreading rumors, wouldn't it be better to compare the downloads from the official website with a build from source?

BTW, the latest addition to the source code (20 days ago) is a new module named crashreports.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RPi-AS and mw360
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.