The update removes wording that “discourages children under 13 from using Audacity”. Wording has also been updated to emphasize that no additional data is collected for law enforcement purposes and that no personally identifiable information is stored.
We questioned whether the age restriction might have been linked to consent to data collection and, indeed, the company said, “After extensive consultation with our lawyers, we have determined that this provision is not not necessary given the actual data transmission and storage mechanisms. . The provision was included in an excess of caution, but ultimately turned out not to be necessary. “
Looks like someone got a little too handy with the cut and paste buttons, put in some boilerplate text, and sent it off to the wild world of GitHub without first considering the implications. Coming so soon after the telemetry fiasco, one would have hoped that Audacity’s new owner, Muse Group, could have paused before pushing an already angry open source bear.
Alas, it seems not. The company said, “We are now taking steps to improve our processes for posting any information related to Audacity in the future to ensure that users are properly informed.”
It took a while for the change to happen, and at least one user observed that it was “too little, too late”, although the majority opinion on the update appears to be positive. New boss Martin Keary (aka Tantacrul) apologized for the delay and blamed the lengthy process of involving legal teams.
“What we want more than anything else,” he said, “is for people to see clearly what we are doing.”
Which we suspect could be the problem for many Audacity users. ®