Author Topic: Microsoft Copilot+PC AI assistant to take screenshots every few seconds  (Read 707 times)

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Offline GyroTopic starter

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Why would your Microsoft OS take screenshots every few seconds, only store them encrypted locally, and not send the data back to Microsoft? ???

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cpwwqp6nx14o

Quote
UK watchdog looking into Microsoft AI taking screenshots

The UK data watchdog says it is "making enquiries with Microsoft" over a new feature that can take screenshots of your laptop every few seconds.

Microsoft says Recall, which will store encrypted snapshots locally on your computer, is exclusive to its forthcoming Copilot+ PCs.

But the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) says it is contacting Microsoft for more information on the safety of the product, which privacy campaigners have called a potential "privacy nightmare".

Microsoft says Recall is an "optional experience" and it is committed to privacy and security.
According to its website, external, users "can limit which snapshots Recall collects".
"Recall data is only stored locally and not accessed by Microsoft or anyone who does not have device access," the firm said in a statement.
And it said a would-be hacker would need to gain physical access to your device, unlock it and sign in before they could access saved screenshots.
But an ICO spokesperson said firms must "rigorously assess and mitigate risks to peoples' rights and freedoms" before bringing any new products to market.
"We are making enquiries with Microsoft to understand the safeguards in place to protect user privacy," they said.

...

EDIT: Reading later in the article, what it will do with the screenshot data locally is pretty disturbing!
« Last Edit: May 22, 2024, 12:27:06 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline MK14

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Microsoft,  :palm:

Subscribing.   :popcorn:
 

Offline JacobPilsen

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Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every step you take, They'll be watching you.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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It is just breathtaking how out of touch they are with actual customer desires.

I want my OS to offer stronger privacy, excellent battery life, and the ability to not just disable but completely remove features I'm not interested in. This supposed new feature runs contrary to all those things. It's an answer to a question nobody asked.

Zero exhaust, by default, with a possible exception for keeping anti-malware up-to-date as quickly and effectively as possible.

Everything else - cloud this, AI that, should be an option. I don't doubt there are people who want to use these things, but I'm not one of them.

No, MS, I won't sign in "for a better experience", whatever that's meant to mean. The "maybe later" button needs to become the "f**k off and never ask me this again" button.

I've not asked for any kind of "assistant". I don't need you to "help" me find or organise anything. Stop trying to insert yourselves between me and the job I'm doing perfectly well without you.

I just need the tools I use to do my job to run, reliably, without breaking every time there's an update. That's it. I use Windows because the tools of my trade require it; it's not really a choice I've made in any meaningful sense. The best thing you can do to help make my life better is to stop pretending otherwise.

Who's the outlier here?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2024, 02:39:09 pm by AndyC_772 »
 
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Offline MK14

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On further reflection, and ignoring the downsides, such as risks to peoples personnel data.

It could allow AI agents (such as Co-pilot, in this case), to see a lot of your (the users) activities, over the last few months.  Hence possibly being able to answer powerful questions, and help the user(s).

Such as (hypothetical examples), where is that thread I started, several weeks ago, and I've forgotten which forum and what it was called, with springs in it, to be found?

Or which of my shopping lists, in the last couple of months, had the most expensive item on it?

Perhaps, what was that soup called, that I really liked (and wrote a quick 5 starred review about it somewhere, such as a supermarket) and where did I buy it?

What movie did I watch, earlier this year, that had those fighting bears in it.  As I want to place a review on it, on the internet.

So, maybe it could be useful, for some people.
 
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Offline SiliconWizard

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It is just breathtaking how out of touch they are with actual customer desires.

Yes, but this is the new business model. As long, of course, as you're big enough. You don't need to care for customers anymore. I guess that should mean, on a higher level, that the demand is so much greater than the offer, that it allows the company to be king.

Of course, this is biased by the fact that the demand itself is probably not greater than the offer, but the offer is just unclear to the customers. They just don't know what they buy anymore.

Anyway, *this* should be enough to boycott MS forever. Do what you want.
 

Offline thm_w

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So, maybe it could be useful, for some people.

Yeah, since OP didn't bother to read about its intended purpose:

Quote
The scope of Recall, which Microsoft has internally called AI Explorer, is incredibly vast — it includes logging things you do in apps, tracking communications in live meetings, remembering all websites you’ve visited for research, and more. All you need to do is perform a “Recall” action, which is like an AI-powered search, and it’ll present a snapshot of that period of time that gives you context of the memory.

As a matter of fact, everything you do on the PC appears on an explorable timeline you can scroll through. You can also search live meetings and videos thanks to Live Captions, which transcribes and even translates speech.

If this technology sounds familiar, Microsoft tried something less powerful in Windows 10 with Timeline but discontinued the feature in 2021. It’s also because there’s already a very similar app for Mac called Rewind.

I don't think I would use it, but you gave some good examples.
Profile -> Modify profile -> Look and Layout ->  Don't show users' signatures
 
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Offline MK14

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So, maybe the concept of such a feature, could be really useful, for some people.

But, it needs serious controls, limits, user feedback, safety mechanisms and things.  Otherwise (as widely reported in news articles about this), financial information, actual text passwords, and even things a person shouldn't really be doing, but if a wife finds out, that might end the marriage, etc.

Ultimately, it really needs a reliable trustworthy company, who doesn't almost secretly and silently, update their software, overnight, to suddenly grab even more information and upload it to the mothership.

E.g. Once privacy settings have been set, in windows, it definitely shouldn't switch them back off again, due to an update.  If it does, it should ask the user and warn them about it.
But that doesn't seem to be how Microsoft, understands the situation.

Really, it is our private information and should be up to the users to decide, what if anything, is shared with Microsoft servers.  Why Microsoft can't seem to understand this, and why they can get away with it in the market place, I don't fully understand.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Yes and however useful it may sound in some cases, I don't get how anyone can fall for this. This is quite horrific. What's next? A wearable camera that will film your life 24/7, all sent to the "cloud", with the promise to enable you to watch back any second of your life in the past? Seriously? (This was already happening with Tesla cars AFAIR.)

Obviously the customer not being fully aware of it is way worse, but even if they are, it's prettty hard to defend. This is getting bad.
 
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Offline MK14

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Yes and however useful it may sound in some cases, I don't get how anyone can fall for this. This is quite horrific. What's next? A wearable camera that will film your life 24/7, all sent to the "cloud", with the promise to enable you to watch back any second of your life in the past? Seriously? (This was already happening with Tesla cars AFAIR.)

Obviously the customer not being fully aware of it is way worse, but even if they are, it's prettty hard to defend. This is getting bad.

I can give an example (out of trillions), on why it is a terrible idea, really.

Someone gets a new PC (who doesn't know that much about PCs, which is probably most people).  It has this new feature, 'Recall', so it captures the screen, every few seconds.

The user, then connects to their work place, and types in a huge number of confidential, hotel guest information, pages.  Which then gets stored on their machine.

Later, that information gets stolen and/or seen by other people, which ends up leaking out thousands of hotel customers private details.

Hence big, big trouble.  Such as those customers credit cards have lots of money stolen from them.
 


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