In 2000, Audacity was released as a reliable audio editor, so it has been around for a long time. Since then, millions of people have used it across the globe. And it still is the most popular of all the free editing software programs available to this date.
It is the first choice of the professionals who don’t want to go for anything else to the hobbyists who are learning their ropes. But until recently, the safety of this program has become a concern. People ask, “Is Audacity safe to install on my computer?”
Now, there is a reason why this question has appeared out of nowhere and especially after all these years. And in this article, we will shed some light on this matter.
So, give it a read and determine whether you should continue using Audacity or if it’s time to make a move.
What is Audacity?
Audacity is a free-of-cost, open-source software program. And that’s precisely why it is so popular. You can run it on various platforms and devices at the same time. But it’s due to the same reasons. Audacity is rumored to be spyware.
What’s an Open-Source Program?
Anyone can download open-source programs and their source code according to their requirements.
Open-source is a term that is frequently used in software development, and it refers to the projects that enable collaborations between different parties.
Now, Trusted SourceAudacity ® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing. Free, open source, cross-platform audio software. Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. Developed by a group of volunteers as open source and offered free of charge. Amazing support community. www.audacityteam.org has been an open-source program since its inception. And the company has introduced more improvements through its incredible team.
But due to the open-source nature, you must be very careful about choosing the right source for downloading this program. As anyone can alter its source code, there is always a risk of manipulation if you select the wrong source for your download.
The statement further elaborates that only the data regarding error reports and software updates are collected. And this practice is an industry standard.
Let’s discuss this matter further.
So, Is Audacity Safe?
Objective Assessment of the Situation
These poorly-worded privacy statements are nothing new, and neither are the public outcries regarding them. It has become common for companies to go for that boilerplate text covering any hypothetical situations that won’t happen in the first place.
One example is an iTunes clause that states no users can use their music player to make nuclear weapons. Yup, that’s true!
In 2021, Muse Group purchased Audacity, the same parent company that owns various other audio programs. These include MuseClass, Musecore, ToneBridge, StaffPad, and Ultimate-Guitar.
Lawyers of the Muse Group might have put in more clauses than needed. Or maybe some of these clauses are mandatory for use in other countries because people across the globe have used them.
Even in these scenarios, Audacity asking us for our consent to collect data is still pretty much something that is uncalled for and is downright ridiculous. But it still doesn’t mean Audacity will be involved in harvesting and selling all that data.
Maybe, it is just a move by the Muse Group to cover themselves. But that doesn’t mean you should agree to the terms and let them collect your data – nobody should do that.
Data Collection Practices of Audacity
The recipients who will get your data are categorized. For instance, your data is very secure with Audacity. But the company will record some of the information pertinent to update checking.
Now, this is necessary, and the company requires it to check whether you are using the latest software program and need to update it.
In the new privacy statement, the company has mentioned that it takes adequate organizational and technical steps to keep its user information safe and secure.
The company will collect information about the country from where you are logging in, error codes, and some other technical details, including what system you are running and a range of otter specs.
But the company does anonymize all information of its users. This information includes IP addresses, so nobody knows which user has data. It is essential because the company only uses this data for statistical and analytical purposes.
And in case you live in a country that the GDPR safeguards, you can ask Audacity to delete, amend, or update by shooting them an email. Audacity is fully GDPR compliant and lets users ask for any information about data they might need.
The company has mentioned that it entirely discards the data. Or it just doesn’t collect data to utilize it anywhere. So, your data is pretty safe with Audacity.
Still, Concerned? Download the Older Version
It’s an open-source and free-of-cost program. Therefore, you can download it, as all its older versions are available publicly. The new policy will be in effect from the 3.0.3 version. So, you can use all the versions up to 3.0.2.
The company has stated that telemetry will be entirely optional and will be turned off by default. Therefore, you have to opt-in for the data that Audacity will collect. So, this whole situation is not that problematic.
Where Can I Safely Download an Older Version?
Audacity’s website, AudacityTeam.org, is the safest place to download this software program. On this website, you will find the official releases from all the developers in the team.
If you go for any other websites, you might have to deal with various software programs you don’t want to install. Stopping them from installation might prevent the primary installation from taking place. And this is something very frustrating.
It is important that when you are looking to download Audacity, you have to make sure you download it from the right source, which is from their official website.
There are various file hosting platforms and other places where you will find different versions of Audacity. But we would strongly recommend you not to do so.
All the versions available on the official website pass the malware check. And if you choose the wrong source to download your program, there is a risk that it might not pass the malware check.
So, Should I Rely on Audacity?
Audacity is one of the top audio editor companies on the internet right from day one. There is no risk if you download and install this software program.
In its new privacy statement, the company has been very transparent and clear about how it collects data from its users. You don’t have to worry about or have any concerns that it’s some spyware you should avoid.
Audacity has been around for more than 2 decades now. And it has a team of proficient and brilliant developers. They work diligently and come up with all the variations and updates.
Being open-source, you must only download this software from the company’s official website. You should never use any other website, or you will be at risk. But Audacity itself is open audio, not spyware. It has always been an open-source program available to all for audio editing.