By: James McAllister

0 Comments

Launching in 2000, the Audacity audio editor has been around for a very long time.

Used by millions of people around the world, it remains the most popular free audio editing software to this day, from hobbyists producing their first pieces of audio to professionals who simply don’t need anything else.

Yet concerns about the safety of Audacity have recently come into question, prompting people to ask – is Audacity safe? Am I at risk by installing it on your computer?

While recent decisions by the Audacity team have made this a reasonable concern, I’d like to address it more deeply within this article

Is Audacity Safe?

Here’s the truth.

Audacity is completely safe to download and install. Audacity is not a virus, doesn’t contain any spyware or malware, and will not compromise your machine in any way.

The thing that has people concerned is an update to Audacity’s privacy policy, which has sparked outrage and worry among users online.

The update to the privacy policy made it sound as if Audacity would be actively collecting data from users, including the content of the audio files that were being worked on. The privacy policy also stated that this data could be shared with undisclosed law enforcement agencies upon request.

I shouldn’t need to explain why this is both worrisome, and a completely unwarranted invasion of privacy.

That being said, the privacy policy has since been edited and revised, with the Audacity team clarifying that the original policy was worded in a way that could be easily misinterpreted.

An Objective Look At The Situation

Poorly worded privacy policies aren’t anything new, nor are outcries about them.

It is common for businesses to use boilerplate text that covers hypothetical situations that would never end up happening.

Case in point, iTunes once had a clause stating that you couldn’t use the music player to create nuclear weapons.

Yeah. Seriously.

Early in 2021, Audacity was bought out by a company called Muse Group. Muse Group also owns other audio-related software including:

  • Musescore
  • Ultimate-Guitar.com
  • MuseClass
  • ToneBridge
  • StaffPad

With their acquisition, it is unsurprising that they have brought in changes, one of which being a new privacy policy.

Muse Group’s lawyers may have thrown in far more clauses than were necessary. Or, perhaps some were only required by certain governments (remember that Audacity is used worldwide.)

While the simple fact that Audacity wants us to agree to data collection is still ridiculous and uncalled for, it doesn’t mean that they planned to take drastic steps to harvest and sell our data. The original privacy policy update may have just been something Muse Group (the company behind Audacity) did to cover themselves.

That being said, I certainly won’t be agreeing to the collection of my data, and neither should you.

If You’re Worried, Download An Older Version

The policy that sparked all of the debate has since been updated, but if that doesn’t bring any comfort to you than you can always download an older version of Audacity.

Audacity is free and open source software, meaning that anyone can fork it and create their own version. By the same token, all of the older versions of Audacity are still publicly available.

The new privacy policy update is not meant to take effect until version 3.0.3. This means that you can use up to version 3.0.2 without being bound by the new policy.

Audacity also claims that allowing telemetry will be completely optional, and off by default. This means that you will specifically have to opt-in in order for telemetry data to be collected.

Therefore, this entire situation isn’t really something you need to worry about.

Where Is The Safest Place To Download Audacity?

The safest place to download Audacity is always going to be the official website, AudacityTeam.org.

Here, you’ll find the official release from the developers themselves.

Downloads from other websites may contain additional bundled software that you may not want installed, which can be quite frustrating!

Here are detailed instructions on how to download and install Audacity.

Conclusion

Audacity has been loved for over two decades now.

Despite some recent worries, Audacity is as safe to use as it’s always been, and there’s no reason to avoid installing it on your computer if you’re in need of a free, powerful audio editor.

I hope that this article has eased some concerns. If you have any questions about Audacity or the new privacy policy update, feel free to ask them using the comment form below.

Enjoy the software!

– James McAllister

 

 

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of JamesMcAllisterOnline.com. He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on JamesMcAllisterOnline.com, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

CommentLuv badge
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Join The VIP Club!

Sign up for the VIP Club and immediately gain access to...


  • 500+ business, marketing, and personal development lessons.
  • A private community forum / support group.
  • My entire library of courses, templates, cheat sheets and swipe files.
  • Many other bonuses!
Send this to a friend