Audacity is an extremely popular open-source audio editor that is relatively powerful despite being free to use. Many users have considered uninstalling the versatile desktop app after noticing big changes to its privacy notice, however. As confirmed on Audacity’s official website, the program will now collect key system information (e.g., OS version, IP address, CPU) for purposes that include app analytics/improvement and legal enforcement. UK publication The Independent has pointed out that Audacity’s new terms and conditions will allow the team behind Audacity, whose main office is located in Russia, to sell user data to third-party companies. The latest version of Audacity (3.0.2) was released on April 19, 2021.
For “a calendar day,” IP addresses will be “stored in an identifiable way” before being hashed or made anonymous; however, an unencrypted address could be a pathway to finding a users’ name, phone number, and address, the geolocation of the computer, and in some cases further personal characteristics including “political inclinations, state of health, sexuality, [and] religious sentiments,” according to a study conducted in 2013 by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.