UK watchdog investigates Microsoft Recall AI feature

Occurred: May 2024

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced it was investigating Microsoft’s AI feature, Recall, over potential privacy concerns. 

This feature, part of Microsoft’s AI Copilot+ system in Windows 11, takes screenshots of a user’s screen every few seconds. The screenshots are stored locally on the user’s computer in an encrypted format.

The ICO is seeking more information from Microsoft about the safety measures in place to protect user privacy. Privacy campaigners have expressed concerns, calling the feature a potential "privacy nightmare". They worry about the implications of a feature that can search through all users’ past activity, including files, photos, emails, browsing history, and even screenshots.

Microsoft has stated that Recall is an “optional experience” and that the company is committed to privacy and security. The tech company also clarified that the data collected by Recall is stored locally and not accessed by Microsoft or anyone who does not have device access

However, concerns remain about the potential for sensitive data to become easily accessible if a user’s device is compromised.

➕ June 2024. Microsoft announced it was making Recall an opt-in feature and would address security concerns.

System 🤖

Documents 📃

Developer: Microsoft
Country: UK
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Identify viewed content
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Privacy; Security

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️