Users suspect that successful audio software is spying on them, so they created a new version of it

Users suspect that successful audio software is spying on them, so they created a new version of it

The popular audio software Audacity was acquired by a Russian company, which introduced changes in the software and terms of use. Angry users are now moving into action

Source: Pixabay

Over time, Audacity has developed a large and loyal user base suitable for a successful open source software – some defined as “default” by a few voice editors and podcasts. As the software has changed hands in recent months, it has not stopped harassing users – this time they are not protesting and moving forward.

Summary of previous chapters

Two months ago The problems of the Odyssey began In front of users. This happened after a group called Muse Group, which had promised to keep the Odyssey open source, acquired it, and the whole purpose of the acquisition was to make it easier to use and add features to it.

The problem started a few days after Audacity took over, when requests for collecting analytics began to appear among users – something that did not exist before the popular software joined hands. Audacity clarified that the analytics to be collected is completely unknown. Similar analytics include the start and end of the application’s usage, the errors that users encounter while using it, the types of files that users edit, and the operating systems that Audience wants.

Users do not like changes made by new owners to the most popular software – in practice they are turned off by default and only select the user’s analytics collection (select -in). At Odyssey, they tried to put out the fire, and izing says that the option only exists in versions that can be downloaded via GitHub – which means that other versions of the software (forks) do not contain the code to collect this information. To please them.

But then came the new update

New updatePrivacy Policy Among the software that has come out in recent days, it is already making it a “spyware” in the eyes of more and more voice critics. According to the latest update, from July 2, the new policy allows Odyssey’s parent company, the Muse Group, to collect analytics about users – their operating system version, the computer’s processor, the country in which they live (based on their IP), and application crashes (and the bugs that led to it). Under the new policy, the company states that it has a “legitimate interest” in collecting this information and that the purpose of the collection is to “ensure that the software works properly”.

The “follow-up” doesn’t end there, because the parent company of Odyssey decided to gather more information about software users – so they can give it to law enforcement if needed. Audacity’s new policy states that users can collect “information needed for law enforcement, legal proceedings and authorities.”




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In addition, the Muse Group added to the new privacy policy that “from time to time you will be obligated to share your personal information, our head offices in Russia and our legal advice in the US”. Because the information is stored on servers in the EU region, the personal information provided by AudCity’s parent company – if necessary – is guaranteed to be “properly secured” outside.

If all of this is not enough, another important change in AudCity’s privacy policy will now prevent boys and girls under the age of 13 from using the app – which violates the licenses on which AudCity operates, GPL (or General Public License), and prohibits the use of software.

Moving on to actions

Lots of posts on GitHub Angry at the new changes Offer to even create a new fork (split) of Odyssey that is completely disconnected from the Muse Group based on open source – and so on. Sadiq Rishon, who describes himself as a cookie engineer, created a first fork for the audition that is not subject to the Muse Group’s new and problematic privacy policy. “Cookie Engineer” states that the version he created – perhaps – did not include any tracking functionality added following the change in privacy policy and that he is working with the community to develop a new version. The new fork needs a new name – because audacity is busy, and no one has money for litigation – and you can helpDecide what to call this page on GitHub.


Oshry Alexalsi

Your friendly neighborhood geek. Do you have a technical story? Talk to me: Oshry@geektime.co.il

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