Windows 11 AI Terrifies Over Privacy Concerns, But It’s All Overblown

Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft Head of Windows and Surfaces, on-stage in front of a Recall presentation
Credit: Microsoft / The Verge

Pavan Davuluri, Microsoft Head of Windows and Surfaces, on-stage in front of a Recall presentation
Credit: Microsoft / The Verge


  • Microsoft has announced a new AI feature called Recall that tracks everything you do on your PC
  • Despite the privacy-invading premise, the data is stored natively on your device and can be deleted with ease
  • Fortunately, the feature is limited to the new Copilot Plus PCs, and won't be available on Intel or AMD chipsets

The idea of an AI scanning your entire PC and keeping logs of everything you do sounds terrifying—and admittedly, it is—but despite the potential privacy invasion of AI crawling through your entire history, the issue is certainly less worrying than it first seems.

One of the best AI chatbots, Microsoft's Copilot, knowing everything you do on your PC isn't exactly an appealing idea. However, Microsoft's new "Recall" AI feature isn't as much of a privacy invasion as you might have thought.

Microsoft announced Recall during a recent Surface event (via The Verge). Recall is a new AI tool for Microsoft's Copilot Plus PCs (not to be confused with Copilot Pro). It keeps track of all your actions on your computer, letting you access past events and information that Recall has logged.

Given that Recall has access to your entire PC, its scope is extensive. Using the Recall function provides snapshots of past meetings, websites, activities with different applications, and more. The potential is exciting, but undoubtedly many users will err on the side of caution with such a tool.

Fortunately, the information collected by the Recall feature is stored natively on your PC, with nothing being uploaded to cloud servers. It is still worrying if someone manages to access your PC, but you should have your equipment password or passcode protected for security reasons.

While Recall stores information locally and gives users the ability to delete content as needed, it doesn't automatically hide sensitive information like passwords or financial details. You may need to do that manually.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your opinion of Recall), the feature isn't going to be commonplace on all Windows 11 devices. The Recall AI is limited to Copilot Plus computers, as it requires the new Snapdragon X Elite chipsets. Since most people running custom or pre-built PCs will have AMD or Intel CPUs, the number of people using Recall will be very limited.

That being said, with OpenAI bringing ChatGPT 4.0, smartphones offering AI features like the Galaxy AI, and more rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, we wouldn't be surprised if Recall becomes accessible in the future.

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