Microsoft to Delay Release of AI Feature Recall, Which Records All User Actions

Microsoft has decided to delay the release of their new feature, “Recall”, for Copilot Plus PCs. This feature, which records all activity on the computer, will undergo further testing and enhancement of safety aspects within the Windows Insider Program before it can be launched for the general public.

“We are adjusting the release model of Recall to leverage the experience of the Windows Insider community and to ensure that [its] performance lives up to our high standards of quality and safety. <…> When Recall (Preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will post a blog message with details on how to get the preview,” stated Microsoft. They have effectively admitted that they need additional time for further development and testing of the Recall function.

Microsoft announced Recall as a feature for the Copilot Plus PC in May. Since then, experts and privacy advocates have been warning that in its original form, it could be a “disaster” in terms of cybersecurity. In response, Microsoft has committed to making three significant changes to the feature: disabling it by default, encrypting its database, and adding authentication through Windows Hello. Recall is based on the functionality of local artificial intelligence models, with data not being transmitted to Microsoft.

Microsoft's Recall Feature Image

The decision to postpone Recall’s release was announced following a testimony from Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, in front of the Committee on Homeland Security in the House of Representatives. Smith emphasized that safety is a priority for Microsoft, stating, “It is even more important than the company’s work on artificial intelligence.” He also pledged to make security a compulsory part of internal staff certifications held twice a year and stated that the results of these exams would be considered when calculating salaries and annual bonuses.

Developed in secrecy before the large-scale Secure Future Initiative (SFI) was implemented, Recall had not undergone public testing in the Windows Insider Program. Microsoft has detected some security deficiencies in the feature and started to make adjustments through additional testing. The company now needs more time to ensure these changes meet their commitment to prioritize safety above everything else.

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