Microsoft announces changes to new range of PCs powered by artificial intelligence


Microsoft is making changes to a controversial feature announced for its new range of PCs powered by artificial intelligence after it was flagged as a potential “privacy nightmare”.

The company billed the “Recall” feature for Copilot+ as a way to make users’ lives easier by capturing and storing screenshots of their desktop activity.

But after people claimed hackers might be able to misuse the tool and its saved screenshots, Microsoft was making the feature opt-in instead.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data watchdog, had told the BBC it was “making enquiries” with Microsoft about the tool after concerns were raised.

“We have heard a clear signal that we can make it easier for people to choose to enable Recall on their Copilot+ PC and improve privacy and security safeguards,” said Pavan Davuluri, Corporate Vice President of Windows and devices, on Friday.

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The feature can search through a users’ past activity, including their files, photos, emails and browsing history. While this was something lots of other devices do, the tool would also take screenshots every few seconds and search these too.

Microsoft said it “built privacy into Recall’s design” from the outset and users would have control over what was captured – such as by opting out of capturing certain websites or not capturing private browsing on Microsoft’s browser, Edge.

The updates would be implemented before Copilot+ PCs launch on 18 June.

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