You kind of expect your data to be collected and shared from any number of websites, social networks, and ecommerce sites these days, but when those practices are adopted by your DAW, does that finally cross the line? When the free DAW Audacity changed its terms of service agreement on July 2nd for its upcoming release, some sharp-eyed users spotted a few lines in the online document that sure sounded like the software is turning into spyware.
Not only does it spell out that personal data can be spread around to potential buyers of the company but also to law enforcement agencies as well. For many users, either of these can be considered crossing the line to the dark side but to have both makes the software a deal breaker.
It’s entirely possible that the terms of service were drawn up by on overzealous lawyer however, as the developers have now issued a statement saying that “We do not and will not sell ANY data we collect or share it with 3rd parties. Full stop.” The statement also goes on to say, ““We will not collect or provide any information other than data described above with any government entity or law enforcement agency. Data is not shared upon an agency request; we will do so only if compelled by a court of law in a jurisdiction that we serve.” The current agreement still does not reflect this language however.
Audacity was recently acquired by Muse Group, who no doubt is doing an overhaul of not only the software but the user agreement as well. In these days when everyone is so hypersensitive about their data, the last place they expect any trouble in this area is from their recording software. Regardless of how much you pay for it, the least you can expect is some personal data respect.