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Does Audacity’s New Data Collection Policy Make it a Spyware

6 min read

Open-source software is meant to be free to use and managed by a community of users. Audacity is one such piece of software that is very popular as an audio-editing tool. However, we might see a change in its popularity due to a new privacy policy.

Audacity has released a new set of data collection policies that have concerned users. Many of them have even started calling this app spyware. In case that’s true, it’s a serious concern for users indeed. As a user, you’d want to be sure about the purpose of this new data policy.

The upcoming information should help you with whatever you need to know regarding these new policies and more.

What’s the Purpose of the New Data Collection Policy?

The controversy around the data policy update is mainly regarding its purpose. So, you might wonder about the same. As per the policy itself, it’s meant for making the necessary improvements to the app.

Apart from that, the Audacity team also claimed that the policy is meant for legal enforcement purposes. Yet, many users feel that it turns the app into spyware. Many of them also assume that this has been done at the request of the government. Now, as we shall see, there are some reasons why you might think the same.

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What Does Audacity’s New Data Collection Policy Say?

The new data collection policy says that Audacity will be collecting certain user data. For app improvement purposes, the app will collect the name and version of your device’s system, among other things. Apart from that, they’ll also collect IP addresses to know the users’ country.

Not only that, but they can also collect information about the CPU that you’re using. If the app fails to launch, the Audacity team will also get to know about the error code you see. However, this applies only in the case of non-fatal errors. Apart from that, they’ll also know if the program crashes on your device. As for legal enforcement purposes, they haven’t mentioned what information they’ll collect.

According to the policy, they’ll share any data with authorities for legal enforcement. So this is one of the biggest reasons that people might see this app as spyware. However, there are some limitations on when the app can share when it comes to your information. As per the policy, Audacity will share user data with authorities only after a court order.

What Assurance Has Audacity Made Regarding the Policy?

Seeing the controversy around the new policy, Audacity has given some clarification regarding it. Here are the main assurances that it provides to the users of the app:

  1. No Data would be Sold to Third Parties

Many third-party buyers out there are interested in buying your user data for various purposes. Now, you probably wouldn’t want your user data to fall into their hands. After all, it can be used for a wide range of malicious purposes. So, you wouldn’t want to trust just anyone with it.

But, the Audacity team has assured users that they won’t sell user data to third-party buyers. So, going by their clarification, nobody other than the app will have access to your data.

  1. Personal Data” Includes Only Your IP Address

In their new policy, Audacity has mentioned that they’ll collect certain personal data. This has led to concerns regarding which information they would collect. After all, there are certain personal data that you wouldn’t want to share with anyone. But, Audacity has clarified that they would only collect users’ IP addresses. So, all the other information that you might want to remain private should remain so.

  1. They will Collect Data Only with The Users’ Permission

Many users have expressed concerns regarding Audacity being spyware due to the new data collection policy. But, the app team has provided clarification for this and assured us that’s not the case. According to them, Audacity will collect data from your device only if you enable that.

So, you should have the option to disable the app from collecting data from your device. However, that might affect the functionality of the software in certain ways. Regardless, you still have the assurance that your data will be collected only with your permission.

Moreover, they would pseudonymise your IP address, and it will be retrievable only for 24 hours.

  1. Authorities Would Require a Court Order To Access User Data

As mentioned before, Audacity’s new policy states that they’ll share users’ data with the authorities. This might make it seem that the government will use it to watch over people. But, according to Audacity’s clarification, the authorities need a court order to access your data. So they can’t demand the app to share information with them just anytime they want to. Moreover, Audacity can share only the aforementioned data that they’ll collect.

How to Know that You Have Spyware on Your Device?

Suspect Audacity to be spyware? Then, knowing how to identify spyware on your device would help you be sure. As it happens, you’ll see certain signs when your device has such programs installed on it. Here are some of the common ones you must look out for:

  1. Too Many Pop-up Ads

Does your device start showing too many pop-up ads on screen? In case you see them even when you’re offline, that might indicate the presence of spyware. So, you might want to get rid of the latest third-party program you installed. However, it might not be wise to do so based on this sign alone.

  1. Slow Performance, Freezing and Crashing

Did your device suddenly start performing slower than usual? As it happens, spyware can take up too many resources on your computer. So, you might experience freezing and crashing on your device as well. Apart from spyware, this problem often indicates the presence of viruses as well.

  1. Files Go Missing Or Appear Without Explanation

Do you find certain files missing from your device? Then, your device might have a virus or spyware. Apart from that, you might also find your files in a location where you hadn’t moved them. Moreover, you might also sometimes see new files that you hadn’t downloaded. All of these are possible signs that you’ve installed spyware on your device.

  1. Unexplained Sent Emails

This sign is not as common as the aforementioned ones. But, you might see it when your device has spyware on it. Go to the Sent folder in your email and look for any mail that you haven’t sent. If you can’t find any other explanation, your computer is probably infected with spyware.

Does Audacity Contain Spyware?

Coming back to your main concern, it’s not clear yet whether Audacity is indeed spyware. According to the team, the new policy is for improvement and legal enforcement purposes. Yet, if you still don’t trust the app, you can find other alternatives for it. After all, there are many viable ones available out there.

Also read: 6 Reasons to Use Virtual Data Room Software When Buying or Selling a Business

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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