Audacity Gets Updated Privacy Policy To Address Spyware Concerns

The Audacity Team has announced that they’ve updated the Privacy Policy for Audacity to address spyware concerns raised by previous updates.

They note:

“We are introducing a revised privacy policy to address the concerns raised with the previous privacy policy published earlier in July.

The original policy, which was drafted in anticipation of the release of Audacity 3.0.3, received a large amount of media attention due to the inclusion of a few key provisions that appeared to some to violate promises we had previously made. We want to address the issues that were raised, give assurances about our intentions, and provide verifiable proof of what information is actually sent from Audacity.

The new privacy policy uses clearer language that we hope will explain our intentions more accurately this time. We are deeply sorry for the significant lapse in communication caused by the original privacy policy document.”

The team has also removed provisions that banned users under the age of 13 from using Audacity.

Here’s a summary of the main changes in the updated Audacity Privacy Policy:

  • Phrasing has been adjusted to remove ambiguity or aid in transparency, in particular that we do not collect any additional information for law enforcement or any other purpose
  • We have explained the purpose of the two networking features, error reporting and update checking
  • We have removed the provision that discourages children under 13 years old from using Audacity
  • We have taken steps to ensure that we never store a full IP address (we now truncate it before hashing or discard it entirely) and have reflected this change in the privacy policy document
  • We have made some changes to how we process error reports to ensure that we never store any potentially identifiable information

For Audacity users that have remaining concerns about the application’s status, a ‘fork’ of the audio editor has been created, Tenacity. Developers that want to contribute can see project info at Github.