Microsoft Delays Launch of Recall Feature Over Privacy and Security Concerns

Microsoft has indefinitely postponed the rollout of its AI-powered Recall feature for Windows 11 to conduct further tests and address privacy and security issues. Originally set to launch on June 18, alongside the release of Copilot Plus PC, Recall will first be available to Windows Insider program participants.

Recall is designed to take screenshots of everything a user does on their PC, allowing them to retrieve information previously displayed on their screen. Microsoft indicated that it adjusted the launch model of Recall to leverage the Windows Insider community’s experience to meet high standards of quality and security, acknowledging the need for more testing time.

The Recall feature was introduced in late May and immediately faced criticism from privacy advocates who warned that, without certain changes, it could be a cybersecurity disaster. Responding to these concerns, Microsoft Senior Researcher Jaime Teevan assured that Recall operates locally without storing data in the cloud. The company insists that the feature extracts text from images but does not moderate the retrieved results.

In early June, Microsoft committed to making three major changes to Recall. For example, the feature will be optional rather than mandatory. Microsoft also plans to ensure data encryption and authentication through Windows Hello. Importantly, Recall does not use the retrieved information to train AI models.

The decision to delay the release came after Microsoft President Brad Smith’s testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee, where he reiterated the importance of cybersecurity. Smith announced that Microsoft employees would be evaluated based on their contributions to the company’s information security.

By taking this step, Microsoft aims to ensure that Recall meets stringent privacy and security standards, reflecting the company’s commitment to protecting user data.

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