fbpx

Windows 11’s creepy Recall feature has been recalled

When Microsoft unveiled the new Recall feature in Windows 11 I said it’s something I’ve always wanted: the ability to find stuff on my computer with incredible ease. AI will put a big twist on that. That is, devices that will offer personal AI experiences will have to have access to all your data so they can be helpful. Recall practically sets the stage for that.

But the way Microsoft did it, by having Windows 11 take screenshots of everything you do, was incredibly scary. Recall prompted security worries even before hackers were able to prove that you can extract Recall information from a Windows 11 AI PC if you get access to it. Hackers would do it with malware attacks.

A few days ago, Microsoft announced a few big changes to the way Recall will work on Copilot Plus PCs in response to criticism and user experiences. Among the fixes, Microsoft came up with was the ability of users to opt out of Recall from the moment they set up a new Windows 11 AI PC.

But Microsoft has changed its plans again. As of Thursday, you should not expect Recall on any Windows 11 Copilot Plus PCs you might buy soon.

Tech. Entertainment. Science. Your inbox.

Sign up for the most interesting tech & entertainment news out there.

By signing up, I agree to the Terms of Use and have reviewed the Privacy Notice.

Microsoft on Thursday updated last week’s blog post that announced the changes Microsoft came up with to improve the security of Recall.

It turns out that Microsoft needs more time to release the Recall feature. It won’t be available to anyone in the very near future.

“Recall will now shift from a preview experience broadly available for Copilot+ PCs on June 18, 2024, to a preview available first in the Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks,” Microsoft said. “Following receiving feedback on Recall from our Windows Insider Community, as we typically do, we plan to make Recall (preview) available for all Copilot Plus PCs coming soon.”

“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security. This decision is rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot Plus PC users.”

Microsoft's Recall feature will help AI remember everything you did on your PC for you.Microsoft’s Recall feature will help AI remember everything you did on your PC for you. Image source: Microsoft

Microsoft added that it will publish a new blog post when Recall becomes available in preview via the Windows Insider Program to explain how beta testers can access the feature. It’s unclear when Recall will be available to beta testers, however.

Microsoft’s priority is user security right now. The company made it clear just before updating the Recall launch schedule. On Thursday, Microsoft’s vice chair and president Brad Smith testified before the House Homeland Security, saying that the Secure Future Initiative (SFI) is the company’s top priority. SFI is even more important than Microsoft’s big AI plans, he said.

According to The Verge, Recall was developed in secret at Microsoft, well before the SFI mandate. It wasn’t even tested with Windows Insiders. Microsoft then identified security issues with Recall in recent months when it started to test changes.

Recall turned out to be one of the big AI fumbles of the year, right up there with Google Search AI Overviews. Unlike Google, Microsoft is practically recalling the feature. But, again, something like Recall will be built into all operating systems that deliver personal AI assistant services.

It won’t be just Windows 11. Apple Intelligence on the iPhone will have access to your content to provide personalized assistance. But it won’t take screenshots of everything you do. Then again, Microsoft wants to be able to tell you what you did on your Windows 11 PC at a specific point in time, hence the need to collect data that way.

Source

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top