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This will be preaching to the choir for some readers, as you didn't exactly need another reason not to use Windows right? Microsoft's new Recall AI will take screenshots of everything you do and that sounds truly terrible. Spyware as a service, courtesy of Microsoft's push to stick AI into everything.

You might think I'm being perhaps a bit sensational here or even clickbaity, but no, this is actually genuinely what Recall does. As Microsoft said: "Recall uses Copilot+ PC advanced processing capabilities to take images of your active screen every few seconds", and not only just on their new ARM PCs, they said it will roll out to x86 platforms too via a Windows update.

What's the point? It's to give you a special timeline of your day (it stores up to 3 months worth of what you do), allowing you to go back through it and find things, highlight things, open the original application shown in pictures and eventually open up whatever you were working on in the right application with the right content at the time. Basically, some fancy-pants AI search going over everything you've done.

Microsoft do say the storage is local to your device, and is "protected using data encryption on your device" and even using BitLocker if you're on Windows 11 Pro or an enterprise Windows 11 SKU. Microsoft also claim it doesn't share it anywhere else, at all, no advertisers or Microsoft themselves. But, how far do we trust data being fed into a black-box AI that no one can really see what it's doing huh?

Here's the thing: straight from their own FAQ (scroll down) it notes how "Recall does not perform content moderation" and it will "not hide information such as passwords or financial account numbers". Oh wow, that sure sounds good for your privacy doesn't it. But don't worry it "does not take snapshots of certain kinds of content, including InPrivate web browsing sessions in Microsoft Edge" and "material protected with digital rights management (DRM)" is also protected. We can't have Netflix or Disney getting annoyed with it taking a shot of that movie you watched, nope.

I'm not even what you may call a "privacy nut". I use big-name stuff all the time, my main browser is plain ol' Google Chrome and you get the idea. But still, this is super weird.

What happens if someone else gets access to your device? Lost, stolen, sold (and you forgot to wipe) and so on. If you get hacked, they'll end up seeing everything, it's another major attack point. Yeah great it's stored on your device, but people and companies get broken open all the time, malicious orgs will have a real party with your data. There's plenty of other times people may end up with access to your device to think about, I'm not going to list them all of course.

You can hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speak about it to The Wall Street Journal, skip to 3:23:

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No thanks. I'll pass, forever. I never want this. It feels creepy and gross.

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is already looking into it. No doubt others will be too. A privacy nightmare for everyone.

If you wish to try Linux, I can recommend Kubuntu which is my daily-driver.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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LoudTechie May 23
Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: Lofty
QuoteI'm not even what you may call a "privacy nut".

Although this is a common turn of phrase. It's time we removed the association of conspiracy theorist with a human right to privacy.

I agree.

Quoting: LoftyIn the early day's people were far more trusting of technology and saw it as largely altruistic and a benefit to society (which with opensource it still can be) but invariably the usual shadowy forces do their thing and here we are.

[bolding by me]

... but this does sound... conspirational.

Maybe they aren't out in public stood on a box selling you data viewable on a large screen but im perfectly happy to identify groups tucked away in some monolithic corporate box connected to a vast data center sharing deeply personal information about you or your loved ones to the highest bidder as shadowy forces.

To me that is the usual shadowy forces. i couldn't think of a better phrase as my "tin foil" hat is blocking the connection to my neural-link Ai brain feed.

if you cant think of a better turn of phrase then let me know.


Shadowy implies lack of transparency, which has really improved over the years.
The term forces dehumanizes them.
The "shadowy forces" call themselves "data brokers".
I would call them "privacy salesmen/salespeople(reliant on who I'm talking to)".

That having said. I'm not opposed to the term "privacy nut".
I've no issue with being the crazy one and it does get the point across.
Lofty May 23
Quoting: LoudTechie
Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: Lofty
QuoteI'm not even what you may call a "privacy nut".

Although this is a common turn of phrase. It's time we removed the association of conspiracy theorist with a human right to privacy.

I agree.

Quoting: LoftyIn the early day's people were far more trusting of technology and saw it as largely altruistic and a benefit to society (which with opensource it still can be) but invariably the usual shadowy forces do their thing and here we are.

[bolding by me]

... but this does sound... conspirational.

Maybe they aren't out in public stood on a box selling you data viewable on a large screen but im perfectly happy to identify groups tucked away in some monolithic corporate box connected to a vast data center sharing deeply personal information about you or your loved ones to the highest bidder as shadowy forces.

To me that is the usual shadowy forces. i couldn't think of a better phrase as my "tin foil" hat is blocking the connection to my neural-link Ai brain feed.

if you cant think of a better turn of phrase then let me know.


Shadowy implies lack of transparency, which has really improved over the years.
The term forces dehumanizes them.
The "shadowy forces" call themselves "data brokers".
I would call them "privacy salesmen/salespeople(reliant on who I'm talking to)".

That having said. I'm not opposed to the term "privacy nut".
I've no issue with being the crazy one and it does get the point across.
[quote=LoudTechie]
Quoting: Lofty
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: Lofty
QuoteI'm not even what you may call a "privacy nut".

Although this is a common turn of phrase. It's time we removed the association of conspiracy theorist with a human right to privacy.

I agree.

Quoting: LoftyIn the early day's people were far more trusting of technology and saw it as largely altruistic and a benefit to society (which with opensource it still can be) but invariably the usual shadowy forces do their thing and here we are.

[bolding by me]

... but this does sound... conspirational.

Maybe they aren't out in public stood on a box selling you data viewable on a large screen but im perfectly happy to identify groups tucked away in some monolithic corporate box connected to a vast data center sharing deeply personal information about you or your loved ones to the highest bidder as shadowy forces.

To me that is the usual shadowy forces. i couldn't think of a better phrase as my "tin foil" hat is blocking the connection to my neural-link Ai brain feed.

if you cant think of a better turn of phrase then let me know.


QuoteShadowy implies lack of transparency, which has really improved over the years.

Has it ? I mean i know there are laws around data protection such as GDPR. At least from a European perspective i could mostly agree. But Microsoft is an American company.

QuoteThe term forces dehumanizes them.

Forces implies a large gathering of people committed to the same objective. Are we 'dehumanizing' an invading army by calling them a 'force' ?

QuoteThe "shadowy forces" call themselves "data brokers".
I would call them "privacy salesmen/salespeople(reliant on who I'm talking to)".

'privacy salesmen' should not even be a thing,i would call them immoral shysters. It should not be a job to sell people's private information without consent at the level proposed here.

QuoteThat having said. I'm not opposed to the term "privacy nut".
I've no issue with being the crazy one and it does get the point across.

So long as it's not used to dehumanize people who care about privacy or minimize the risks involved, hushing people into silence.
dpanter May 23
Microsoft is just one among many giant corporations needing to be dismantled, broken down and destroyed in their current malicious forms. If we don't, it'll be too late to stop them and they'll control every aspect of our lives. Hey, wait a minute...
ToddL May 23
After reading this article, it's enough to tell me to tell MS to shove it with their AI crap and I'm glad I stopped using their OS for over a decade and a half. I really wished the Year of the Linux was a reality back in the 2000s and beyond, but yet here we are still stuck with Windows and it's their invasive AI crap
Mambo May 23
Quoting: kshadeIt's good that you need some "premium" AI accelerator for this to work, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they decided that it has been "so successful" (read: not enough people buy the hardware) that the less fortunate will get access too - using the power of the cloud, of course.

The initial announcement does attempt to market AI surveillance as premium and desirable by restricting it to a new line of devices. MS has a 49% stake in OpenAI (effectively more than that; they are entitled to 75% of future profits until they recoup the 10 billion or so they invested), they have to hype this tripe. Selling surveillance to employers is one way to make money off this; but I'm guessing they'll also try to racket regulated sectors or corps that don't want discovery to bring them legal trouble into paying more to have a guarantee that such material isn't stored.

There's good conversation on Mastodon; for example someone making the point that baking surveillance into the OS enables domestic abuse. (There's this whole sidebar conversation about Linux; they are correct that a victim of domestic abuse is not at the point where just switching to Linux is a solution, but anyone else who has a broader horizon definitely helps by supporting Linux as a platform that empowers users over monopolies.)
Quoting: LoudTechieWhat mcirosoft didn't disclose with their TPM requirement is that breaking bitlocker of the TPM they required at first(hardware based) is so easy that a teacher suggested it as a project in my first year of embedded software engineering. This is the relevant trick..
Doesn't work for fTPM, but that only got allowed when it turned out that gamers with game pcs can be very loud.
Huh. That's pretty interesting. I guess the real professionals might have a suitcase full of these pogo pin sniffers for common laptop models, ready to disassemble the laptop at a moment's notice.

My desktop computer from 2017 has fTPM. Let me check if my Dell business laptop from 2022, which came with Windows 11, has fTPM.

<Rebooting>...

Edit:I have no clue. It doesn't tell me in the BIOS whether I have a fTPM, it just has the option to enable Secure Boot.


Last edited by pleasereadthemanual on 23 May 2024 at 2:53 pm UTC
whatever May 23
I'm absolutely 100% sure people will keep using Windows regardless, like everybody keeps using Chrome, despite all we know about Google and how they spy on their users ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
finaldest May 23
Trying to explain this to my family is going to be fun. I get labelled a conspiracy theorist enough as it is.

I am going to nuke my only windows 11 install from my laptop.

According to UK Media, the UK Watchdog is now investigating this as a potential security threat.
Pengling May 23
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Quoting: finaldestTrying to explain this to my family is going to be fun. I get labelled a conspiracy theorist enough as it is.
I found that the video I linked to earlier (this one ) was quite reasonable about it. That's the one I've been showing to the few remaining Windows users I know (all of my family ditched it years ago, thankfully).
phil995511 May 23
It is prohibited for an employer to spy on its employees in any way. This type of function is therefore formally prohibited in the professional field.

In the private domain, just as for states, lawyers, doctors, etc, this poses a very big problem of confidentiality.

We must hope that governments will act urgently and purely and simply ban this type of functionality.
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