Audacity has now become spyware

I wish I was joking... but this is actually real.

Upon a recent update, Audacity will now collect and send your personal data to the Kremlin and unsurprisingly, people are up in arms and would be scrambling to find an alternative. Just as well I've held on to an older version of it even though I don't use it as much than I used to.

Ninite will probably have to remove it from its service too.

To say I'm appalled is an understatement. What the hell were the developers thinking? 😑


  • "It is not illegal, so lets do it!"

    They are just imitating Microsoft, Google, Apple, and all the other big players.
  • Why the hell would gathering this information be necessary? I mean, I know the real reason. To monetize your data and subsidize the development costs. But I don't really see how it's in any way otherwise useful. The article says for law enforcement, but how does that work? "Oh, I see the criminal left us a ransom note as an audio clip recorded with audacity! Better somehow corelate that with an IP in our database and then subpoena the ISP for user info" unless they're stamping every file with some kind of identifier, I don't get how they'd possibly know. I guess it could log a hash of the file when it's written and send that... Either way, it seems like an unnecessary addition to the software to allow for a scenario that will probably never happen.
  • A lot of us FLOSS folks have been keeping an eye on the situation since this pull request for adding telemetry first showed up, and some people have had enough and create a fork here.
  • For completeness's sake, here's a link to their response to the original PR. TLDR: Download the code, build the project yourself and there'll be no telemetry.
  • Good thing I won't have this problem on the XP computer with no internet access that I use for running an old version of Audacity. ;)

    It's GPLv2, so I'm sure it'll end up with a widely-supported fork to remove the unwanted parts, kind of like the MySQL/MariaDB situation.
  • Annnnnnnnnd it's time to get used to another fork.
  • The telemetry is a compile-time flag on Linux. If it's on, blame your distro's maintainer for enabling it. In any case, this is such a tempest in a teapot.
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