Microsoft Delays Recall AI Feature for Copilot+ PCs to Address Privacy Concerns

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Key Takeaways:

  • Microsoft has delayed the launch of its Recall feature for Copilot+ PCs due to security and privacy concerns.
  • The Recall feature will first be available in preview to users enrolled in the Windows Insider Program, allowing for additional feedback and testing.
  • Microsoft is addressing security issues by making Recall an opt-in feature, requiring Windows Hello authentication, and encrypting the search index database.

Microsoft has postponed the rollout of its controversial Recall feature for Copilot+ PCs, and it will now be released first in preview to members of the Windows Insider Program in the coming weeks. This AI-powered tool will undergo additional testing to address privacy and security concerns.

Last month, Microsoft unveiled the AI-based Recall feature for upcoming Copilot+ PCs. Recall will create an explorable timeline to help users find previously viewed content on their PCs, including images, documents, apps, and websites. And it will do so by periodically capturing screenshots of users’ screens on Windows devices.

Microsoft originally planned to ship Recall with the first wave of Copilot+ PCs coming on June 18. However, security researchers identified vulnerabilities in this feature and raised concerns Recall capturing sensitive information on Copilot+ PCs without keeping the database file encrypted.

To address these concerns, Microsoft promised to make the Recall feature opt-in rather than enabled by default. Additionally, the company will implement further security measures, including authentication through Windows Hello and encrypting the search index database.

Microsoft Delays Recall AI Feature for Copilot+ PCs to Address Privacy Concerns
Windows Recall (Image Credits: Microsoft)

Microsoft to test Recall with Windows Insiders before broader release

Now, Microsoft has announced that Recall won’t be shipped with Copilot+ PCs. Instead, the company will test the AI feature with Windows Insiders before rolling it out in preview to all users in the next few weeks. Microsoft plans to gather additional feedback and usage data to ensure the feature meets its quality and security requirements.

“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,” Microsoft explained. “When Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how to get the preview.”

Microsoft’s delayed Recall feature sparks debate on transparency and security

Overall, privacy advocates and customers are demanding greater transparency regarding Recall’s implementation. Meanwhile, IT administrators prioritize rigorous testing and robust security measures before deploying such features in enterprise environments.

Microsoft’s decision to delay the release of Recall also reflects its commitment to the Secure Future Initiative. Microsoft President Brad Smith has testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, emphasizing the company’s prioritization of security in developing new AI features and other technologies. Microsoft has also linked employee compensation and annual bonuses to achieving security goals.