Microsoft is delaying its controversial Recall feature

Microsoft plans to launch its new Copilot Plus PCs next week, but the controversial Recall feature, which screenshots all user activity, will not be included initially. Instead, Microsoft will test Recall through the Windows Insider program after previously promising to release it as an opt-in feature with added security improvements.

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“We are adjusting the release model for Recall to leverage the expertise of the Windows Insider community to ensure the experience meets our high standards for quality and security,” Microsoft stated in an updated blog post. “When Recall (preview) becomes available in the Windows Insider Program, we will publish a blog post with details on how to get the preview.”

This adjustment means Recall won’t be immediately available to Windows Insiders or Copilot Plus PC buyers. Windows engineers had been working to test and implement security improvements for Recall in time for the June 18th launch of Copilot Plus PCs. Now, Microsoft acknowledges that more time is needed to ensure Recall’s security.

Microsoft introduced Recall as part of its Copilot Plus PCs last month, but privacy advocates and security experts have raised concerns about its potential cybersecurity risks. In response, Microsoft committed to three major updates: making Recall an opt-in feature, encrypting the database, and authenticating through Windows Hello.

Recall utilizes local AI models built into Windows 11 to screenshot user activities, allowing users to search and retrieve items they’ve seen. An explorable timeline enables scrolling through snapshots to review past activities. Importantly, all data in Recall is designed to remain local and private, with no data used to train Microsoft’s AI models.

The decision to delay Recall follows vice chair and president Brad Smith’s testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee, where he emphasized that Microsoft prioritizes security above all else as part of its Secure Future Initiative (SFI). “It is more important even than the company’s work on artificial intelligence,” said Smith.

Smith also announced that cybersecurity will become a mandatory part of Microsoft’s bi-annual review process for all employees, affecting annual bonuses and compensation.

Originally, Recall was created before Microsoft’s SFI overhaul and was developed secretly without public testing through Windows Insiders. Microsoft later identified security issues with Recall and began developing and testing improvements, but more time is needed to ensure these changes meet the company’s security standards.