Audacity 3.0 Data Collection Raises Concerns About New Owner

Audacity 3.0
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Audacity 3.0
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Photo Credit: Vika Strawberrika

Audacity 3.0 is raising data collection concerns among the open-source community.

Muse Group acquired the free audio editing software in May. The company also controls Ultimate Guitar, MuseScore, and Tonebridge. Since the purchase of the free and open-source Audacity, changes have been made to support documents and the privacy policy that indicate data collection practices – where previously none existed.

“All your personal data is stored on our servers in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, we are occasionally required to share your personal data with our main office in Russia and our external counsel in the USA,” the policy reads after being altered on June 2. The policy also states that the data may be shared with third-party advisors or ‘potential buyers.’

Data collected includes the user’s country based on IP address, error codes and messages, crash reports, and the CPU in use. But the data collection also extends to use for ‘legal enforcement’, which the privacy policy does not disclose.

The changes also exclude people under the age of 13 from using Audacity 3.0 because of these data collection practices.

Audacity was previously open to all ages under the GPL license. But this newly implemented policy says people under 13 should not use the app. This is considered a violation of the original GPL license, which has led to calls for Audacity to be forked.

The development team responsible for maintaining Audacity has been trying address the issue. But the outcry about the collection of personal telemetry data has been extensive across the internet. In fact, work on forking Audacity has already begun with several projects starting with Audacity 2.x.

Audacity Alternatives

Want to switch away from using Audacity as an audio editor without worrying about a new fork being maintained? Several free and open-source programs offer basic audio editing for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Check out some of these Audacity alternatives.


Ocenaudio is a cross-platform audio editor that offers several features. It supports Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plugins out of the box. It also offers real-time previews of effects, allowing the editor to adjust the effect before applying it.


Wavosaur is available only for Windows users, but offers the same feel of the Audacity audio editor. It also supports VST plugins and includes batch processing of audio files.

Reaper is a full digital audio workstation that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The DAW is available for free as a fully functional 60-day free trial. After that, you can purchase a license for $225 or $60 if your work is not commercial (the project does not exceed $20,000 in yearly revenue).