Audacity’s simple, functional interface and powerful audio manipulating capabilities have long made it a favorite among newbie and expert users, especially since it’s free and has been continuously worked on and improved by the open-source community for over two decades.
As reported by FOSS Post, the addition of several data collection mechanisms turn Audacity into possible spyware, as personal information (see below) can now be shared with law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies and other third parties including advisors, auditors, potential buyers etc.
Audacity’s privacy notice also states that users’ personal data is stored on servers in the European Economic Area (EEA), and that this data will be occasionally shared with the company’s main office in Russia and external counsel in the US.
Currently, there’s no way to opt-out of this new policy, which restricts minors (13 years and below) from using the app. Audacity’s controversial telemetry requirements are also being discussed on GitHub and Reddit, where users are now looking forward to potential forked versions that aren’t into tracking user data, especially since the app has always been an offline audio editor.