Unmasking Windows Recall: Microsoft’s Security Overhaul


This Week in IT, I look at changes Microsoft is promising to bring to its controversial AI feature, Windows Recall, that should help calm concerns that the data it collects might be used for nefarious purposes.

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Episode Overview

This episode of This Week in IT is about Windows Recall, a new AI feature that allows users to search their desktop activities using screenshots and OCR. The purpose is to inform viewers about the feature and its security implications.

  • The main features and benefits of Windows Recall: Windows Recall can help users find information from their past activities, such as documents, web pages, or emails, by indexing the screenshots and the text on them. It uses Azure AI and a local device processor to perform OCR and data processing.
  • The security concerns and measures of Windows Recall: Some users and security researchers have raised concerns about the privacy and security of the data collected by Windows Recall, as it can be accessed remotely or by other users on the same device. Microsoft has announced some changes to address these issues, such as disabling the feature by default, encrypting the data and the index, and requiring Windows Hello authentication to unlock the database.

The video host trusts Microsoft and thinks that the security measures are sufficient to protect the data. He also thinks that the feature is useful and innovative, and that some users are overreacting to the potential risks. He advises users who do not trust Microsoft to choose other operating systems, such as Linux or Chrome OS.