PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by waxcylinder » Sun May 09, 2021 3:28 pm

steve wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 3:01 pm
jahway603 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 1:28 pm
None of you are listening to the user concerns on Github,
That is not correct. All of the comments have been read by members of the Audacity team. I spent several hours yesterday doing so, when I could have been helping the Audacity community here on this forum.
And don't forget jahway that the new owners of Audacity are a company with professional salaried employees - and for them it's the weekend, time to spend with their families. It's no longer us part-time hobbyists holding the show together giving our free time away to the project.

As it's the weekend I wouldn't really expect a formal response until Monday at least - but I do know that meanwhile they have been reading the feedback.
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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by steve » Sun May 09, 2021 3:38 pm

jahway603 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 3:12 pm
The users do not want it.
I don't think that's an accurate representation without qualification.
It is clear that many GitHub users are against that particular pull requests as it stands, but:
  • The pull request in question is a draft, not a final proposal
  • Many responses say that they are not opposed to limited telemetry per se, but are opposed to some specific implementation features.
  • Many of the responses are duplicate posts that add nothing to the discussion.
  • Many of the responses are childish trolling.
  • Many of the responses are FUD and totally inaccurate (such as repeated claims that the feature would be enabled by default, which can easily be seen to be nonsense by looking at the code).
  • Many of them are personal attacks on contributing members of the Audacity community (including myself).
My personal position is that I'm not opposed to limited telemetry per se, but that high standards of respect for users privacy must be maintained. This includes making the feature an "opt-in" choice (which it is), full transparency about what information is being sent, who has access to the data and why, and full GDPR compliance.
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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by jahway603 » Sun May 09, 2021 3:51 pm

steve wrote:
jahway603 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 3:12 pm
The users do not want it.
I don't think that's an accurate representation without qualification.
It is clear that many GitHub users are against that particular pull
requests as it stands, but:
  • The pull request in question is a draft, not a final proposal
  • Many responses say that they are not opposed to limited telemetry per
    se, but are opposed to some specific implementation features.
  • Many of the responses are duplicate posts that add nothing to the
    discussion.
  • Many of the responses are childish trolling.
  • Many of the responses are FUD and totally inaccurate (such as repeated
    claims that the feature would be enabled by default, which can easily be
    seen to be nonsense by looking at the code).
  • Many of them are personal attacks on contributing members of the
    Audacity community (including myself).
My personal position is that I'm not opposed to limited telemetry per se,
but that high standards of respect for users privacy must be maintained.
This includes making the feature an "opt-in" choice (which it
is), full transparency about what information is being sent, who has access
to the data and why, and full GDPR compliance.
This whole situation is how you kill a project -> when you do not listen to your users.

Plus I would argue that anything using Google Analytics, which pull request #853 is trying to do, is the opposite of providing "high standards of respect for users privacy must be maintained".

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by steve » Sun May 09, 2021 3:59 pm

jahway603 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 3:51 pm
This whole situation is how you kill a project -> when you do not listen to your users.
Did you even read my reply? :o
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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by gregaras » Sun May 09, 2021 4:40 pm

steve wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 3:38 pm
My personal position is that I'm not opposed to limited telemetry per se,
Probably you are not opposed to limited Google and Yandex telemetry as well. As this PR is a draft perhaps they will change Google and Yandex to something like Matomo. Otherwise people will have to fork the project and part of the community might get lost.

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by gregaras » Sun May 09, 2021 4:49 pm

I'm sorry for double post, I wish I coud do edits to my posts.
Forgot to mention that I personally wouldn't want telemetry in Audacity at all as this coming from the company that acquired it. It just raises a lot of doubts.

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by steve » Sun May 09, 2021 5:03 pm

gregaras wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 4:40 pm
Probably you are not opposed to limited Google and Yandex telemetry as well.
This is getting into more difficult waters.

If Google or Yandex have access to the data, and access to the IP address, it's not going to be hard for them to de-anonymise the data. In my opinion that would not be acceptable. Better in my opinion would be to handle the data on a private server and discard the IP addresses.
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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by jahway603 » Sun May 09, 2021 7:00 pm

steve wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 5:03 pm
gregaras wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 4:40 pm
Probably you are not opposed to limited Google and Yandex telemetry as well.
This is getting into more difficult waters.

If Google or Yandex have access to the data, and access to the IP address, it's not going to be hard for them to de-anonymise the data. In my opinion that would not be acceptable. Better in my opinion would be to handle the data on a private server and discard the IP addresses.
As-it-is right now, the code is using Google and Yandex, which is totally unacceptable.

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by jahway603 » Sun May 09, 2021 7:12 pm

The big picture here though is:
  • Audacity is an audio application and this is what it was & is designed for.
  • Audacity is not a web browser.
  • Web browsers require network stacks (in the code) for them to function.
  • Audio applications do not use network functionality.
    • In software development, we do not add code that is not necessary to the design intent of the application - here audio only with no networking as it has been for 20+ years
    • An audio application should not contain networking code or network stacks, as this application was not created for that...
  • The GitHub PR #853 Telemetry commit is an additional 5,506 lines of code.
  • More lines of code means more opportunity for bugs to occur.
  • More lines of code means a larger attack surface for anyone that enjoys breaking things ;)
I'm sure I could think of more but this is like programming code for a video game into a nuclear power facility control system (NPFCS) as a NPFCS was never designed for anything else than its purpose of making sure the nuclear power plant is functioning correctly and regulating it. I hope I'm being clear as text is always open to misinterpretation :)

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Re: PR #835: Basic telemetry for the Audacity

Post by steve » Sun May 09, 2021 7:14 pm

jahway603 wrote:
Sun May 09, 2021 7:00 pm
As-it-is right now, the code is using Google and Yandex, which is totally unacceptable.
For sake of argument, how would you feel if the data being transferred was encrypted so that although Google / Yandex have the IP address (which they can probably get from elsewhere anyway), they have no way to associate the IP with the data that is being sent, and the data, stripped of anything that could help de-anonymise (such as time sent/received) is made public domain?
9/10 questions are answered in the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

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