Microsoft Makes Recall Opt-In Following User Feedback Leave a comment

Microsoft is modifying its strategy for the Copilot+ Recall feature in response to strong criticism from cybersecurity experts. Recall was originally intended to be enabled by default, but to address privacy concerns, it will now require users to opt-in before going live on June 18.

You might have heard about Recall, part of the upcoming Copilot+ PCs. It’s a feature that captures screenshots of your activity to create a searchable archive. Sounds handy, right? But this raised alarms among privacy advocates. They pointed out the risks of storing sensitive information such as passwords and financial data. In response, Microsoft has decided that users will need to actively enable Recall during the setup process.

Microsoft

We are updating the set-up experience of Copilot+ PCs to give people a clearer choice to opt-in to saving snapshots using Recall. If you don’t proactively choose to turn it on, it will be off by default

By VP Pavan Davuluri at Microsoft Windows.

Second, Windows Hello enrollment is required to enable Recall. In addition, proof of presence is also required to view your timeline and search in Recall.

But that’s not all. Microsoft is rolling out some new security measures too. To activate Recall, you’ll need to enroll in Windows Hello. This involves biometric authentication through facial recognition, fingerprint, or a PIN. And you’ll need to authenticate yourself every time you want to access or search your Recall history.

On top of that, Recall snapshots and the search index database will now be encrypted. Snapshots will only be decrypted and accessible after you authenticate, adding an extra layer of protection. These steps are designed to prevent unauthorized access to your saved data.

Microsoft has also reassured users that all Recall data will be stored and processed locally on your device, with nothing being uploaded to the cloud. You’ll see a persistent notification icon on your taskbar when Recall is active, so you’re always in the know about what’s happening.

In a recent conversation, I spoke with an IT friend who told me how many people in the tech community are really relieved by this change. “It’s great that Microsoft is listening to feedback and giving users back control,” she said to me.

Microsoft has demonstrated its commitment to addressing user concerns and ensuring data privacy with the decision to make Recall opt-in and strengthen security protocols. Microsoft hopes that these changes will restore user confidence and demonstrate its commitment to offering Copilot+ Recall users a secure computing experience.

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