Microsoft Makes Windows’ Recall Feature Opt-In Following Cybersecurity Concerns

Jun 08, 2024 9 mins read

Microsoft Corp. is moving to change its new Recall tool for Windows after drawing regulatory scrutiny in the U.K. and criticism from some cybersecurity researchers. Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Windows and devices, detailed the update in a blog post published today. One of the most significant changes is that Windows will enable Recall only if users opt in to enable it.


Microsoft Corp. Is ready to modify its newly brought Recall tool for Windows following regulatory scrutiny within the U.K. And complaint from cybersecurity researchers.

Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft’s company vice president for Windows and gadgets, mentioned the adjustments in a weblog publish published today. Among the maximum huge updates, Windows will now allow Recall handiest if users decide in to prompt it. Additionally, Microsoft plans to combine new cybersecurity mechanisms into the characteristic, which is expected to become broadly available later this month.

Recall will be available for non-public computer systems that observe Microsoft’s recently added Copilot PC specification. This technical preferred mandates that machines consist of at least 16 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes of storage, and a chip optimized to run artificial intelligence models. Computers meeting Microsoft’s standards will receive a suite of new AI and cybersecurity skills.

One of these abilties is Recall, the focal point of today's replace. The tool captures a screenshot of the person’s screen each five seconds. When users look for a file or web site they accessed previously using Windows’ seek bar, Recall can display applicable screenshots showing their interactions with the asset in query.

On May 21, the day after Microsoft added Recall and the Copilot PC specification, the U.K.’s privateness watchdog announced that it changed into examining the characteristic. The Information Commissioner’s Office said that it become “making enquiries with Microsoft” to accumulate more records for its review.

Recently, cybersecurity researchers discovered that Recall stores screenshots in a database without integrated encryption. The pics are included only by BitLocker, a Windows function that encrypts a PC’s storage force and decrypts it while the consumer logs in. This association reportedly makes it extraordinarily easy for other customers of a Windows eleven laptop and malware to get entry to Recall screenshots.

According to Microsoft, the replace introduced these days will deal with this difficulty by way of encrypting Recall’s “seek index database.” Additionally, the company will make the device available handiest on computers with the Windows Hello biometric authentication feature enabled. Users will need to log into Windows Hello whenever they wish to get right of entry to the screenshots.

Rather than being enabled by default on well suited PCs, Recall could be available as an opt-in characteristic. The choice to turn on the tool might be on hand via a new interface panel that explains customers may also exchange their settings later and delete screenshots.

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