Users suspected that the successful audio program was spying on them, so they created a new version of it

Users suspected that the successful audio program was spying on them, so they created a new version of it

The popular audio program Audacity was acquired by a Russian company, which made changes to the program and terms of use. Angry users now get to work

Source: Pixabay

Over the years, Audacity has developed a large and loyal user base, befitting a successful open source program – which some might define as “the default” for quite a few audio and podcast editors. But as the software has changed in recent months, it hasn’t stopped annoying users – and this time they are no longer protesting and moving on.

Summary of previous chapters

About two months ago, Odcity problems with users started. This happened after it was acquired by a group called the Muse Group, which promised to keep Odyssey open source, and that the whole purpose of the acquisition was to make it easier to use and add features to it.

The problem started when, a few days after the acquisition of Odcity, requests for analytics collection began to appear on users – something that wasn’t there before the popular software took hold. Audacity has made it clear that the analytics that will be collected are completely anonymous. The same analyzes include the beginning and end of application use, errors that users encounter during use, the types of files users edit and the operating systems that Audcity wants.

Users did not like, to say the least, the changes the new owners made to the very popular software – although in practice it is turned off by default, and analytics is collected on users only if they choose to do so (option -in). Oddsity has tried to put out the fires, confirming that the option is only in versions downloadable through GitHub – which means other versions (forks) of the program don’t have code to collect this information in what appears to be a wink for users trying to appease them.

But then came the new update

The program’s new privacy policy update that has surfaced in recent days is already making it a “spy” in the eyes of its most vocal critics. According to the new update, starting July 2, a new policy allows Odyssey’s parent company – Muse Group – to collect analytics about users – including their OS version, their computer processor, and the country they live in (based on their IP) and application crashes (and the errors that led to it). In the new policy, the company states that it has a “legitimate interest” in collecting this information and that the purpose of the collection is, ostensibly, “to ensure that the software is operating properly.”

But the “continuation” doesn’t stop there, because Odcity’s parent company has decided to collect more information about users of the program – so they can provide it to law enforcement if necessary. Odcity’s new policy says it can collect “information necessary for law enforcement, legal process and authorities” on users – if they request it.

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In addition, the Muse Group has added to the new privacy policy the fact that it “will be obligated from time to time to share your private information, with our head offices in Russia and with our legal advice in the United States.” Since the information is stored on servers in the territory of the European Union, Odcity’s parent company undertakes to ensure that private information transmitted – if necessary – outside it is “properly secured”.

If all this weren’t enough, another significant change to Odcity’s privacy policy will now ban use of the app by boys and girls under the age of 13 – in violation of the license under which Odcity or the GPL (or the General Public License) operates. Software use.

Go to business

Several posts on GitHub are outraged by the new changes and even offer to create a new (split) completely separate fork of the Muse Group based on its open source – and it did. Tzadik Rishon, who calls himself a cookie engineer, created a first fork of Oditsy that is not subject to the new and problematic privacy policy of the Muse Group. The Cookie Engineer states that the version he created likely does not include any of the tracking functionality added after the change in the Privacy Policy and that he is working with the community to develop the new version. The new fork also needs a new name – because Audacity is busy, and no one has the money to sue – and you can help identify what’s called on this page in GitHub.

Oshri Alexelci

Friendly neighborhood freak. Do you have a technology story? Talk to me: [email protected]

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