Audacity causes controversy with newly published Privacy Notice

Guest post by Sheila, founding director of the BBE podcast agency

Audacity causes controversy with newly published Privacy Notice

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Audio editing platform Audacity causes controversy with their newly published Privacy Notice in the latest software update version 2.4.

Crowned as one of the leading and favoured podcast audio editing software, Audacity has sent shockwaves to its users with the changes of their new Terms of Service many have questioned their updated and GDPR practises.

An update to the Desktop Privacy Notice was published on the 2nd July 2021 which lists the data that Audacity is collecting as well as the reason for collecting the data, with whom the data is shared and under which circumstances, how the data is protected, and how it is stored and deleted.

(Original post can be found on the BBEldn.co.uk website)

The following data is or may be collected by Audacity:

  • App Analytics and App Improvements:
    • OS version
    • User country based on IP address
    • OS name and version
    • CPU
    • Non-fatal error codes and messages (i.e. project failed to open)
    • Crash reports in Breakpad MiniDump format
  • For legal enforcement
    • Data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities’ requests (if any)
Credit: BBE Podcast Agency

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What does Audacity’s new terms of service mean?

The “legal enforcement” data collecting part of the Desktop Privacy Notice is vague, as it does not list the data that Audacity may provide for “law enforcement, litigation and authorities’ requests”. It is unclear why it is not listed. While it is clear that a company does not know which data law enforcement may request, a list of information that Audacity collects or may collect could be listed there.

Another paragraph that is seen as problematic is 7.1 Data storage and transfers of data. Audacity data is stored on servers in the European Economic Area according to the paragraph, but personal data may be shared occasionally with the group’s main office in Russia and the group’s external counsel in the United States.

Many online users suspect the new privacy notice looks like a lighter version of the group’s Musescore privacy policy, but with less data collecting.

audacity privacy notice 2021
Credit: @Chryseus on GitHub.com

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