Microsoft's AI tool takes screenshots of your laptop every few seconds

Microsoft's AI tool takes screenshots of your laptop every few seconds Microsoft's AI tool takes screenshots of your laptop every few seconds

Microsoft's latest AI-powered tool is giving your computer a 'photographic memory' – but experts are concerned it could come at a cost to your privacy.

The new tool, called 'Recall', automatically takes screenshots of your laptop every few seconds that you can browse through later.

Microsoft says the screenshots are stored locally on your computer and can't be accessed by the tech giant's staff, or any remote hacker.

However, experts have shared concerns that it could be make it easier for people to get personal information from your device if it falls into the wrong hands.

Dr Kris Shrishak, an adviser on AI and privacy, called the tool a potential 'privacy nightmare'.

How does Recall work?

According to Microsoft, Recall takes images of your active screen every few seconds.

These snapshots are encrypted and saved on your PC's hard drive - and the company insists no-else can see them.

You can use Recall to locate the content you have viewed on your PC using search or on a timeline bar that allows you to scroll through your snapshots.

"The mere fact that screenshots will be taken during use of the device could have a chilling effect on people,' he told the BBC.

James Bore, tech expert at consultancy Bores Group, said the snapshot tool 'could capture information that might otherwise not be saved', like passwords, credit card details or login details.

If the laptop falls into the wrong hands, a perpetrator could 'gain access to the user's session and get the information'.

'The main thing for me would be making sure it's very easy to activate and deactivate, and ideally automating that deactivation as much as possible,' Bore told MailOnline.

However, Bore believes Microsoft when the firm says no-else can see the screenshots, as 'the consequences of lying about something like that massively outweigh any potential benefit'.

MailOnline has contacted Microsoft for comment.

Recall is exclusive to Copilot+ PCs, Microsoft's new line of Windows laptops that's powered by its Copilot AI assistant, unveiled earlier this month.

According to Microsoft, Recall is intended to 'solve one of the most frustrating problems we encounter daily' – refinding webpages on a computer.

With the tool, users can locate the content they've viewed on their device using search, or on a timeline bar that allows them to scroll back through the screenshots.

'With Recall, you can access virtually what you have seen or done on your PC in a way that feels like having photographic memory,' the tech giant says.

It adds that Recall can be turned on and off at any time, but the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said it is contacting Microsoft for more information on Recall's safety measures.

An ICO spokesperson said: 'We are making enquiries with Microsoft to understand the safeguards in place to protect user privacy.

'We expect organisations to be transparent with users about how their data is being used and only process personal data to the extent that it is necessary to achieve a specific purpose.

'Industry must consider data protection from the outset and rigorously assess and mitigate risks to peoples' rights and freedoms before bringing products to market.'

Microsoft unveiled Copilot last autumn as it heralded 'entering a new era of AI' that changes how we 'benefit from technology'.

Earlier this year it was revealed Microsoft would be adding a dedicated AI button on its computers – and many users were not happy about it.

The new line of Windows laptops feature this AI button on the keyboard for quickly accessing the Copilot chatbot.

Do YOU think it sounds like Scarlett Johansson? ChatGPT's 'flirty' AI bot's voice is revealed - so, do you think it resembles the Hollywood A-lister?

Ever since Scarlett Johansson voiced an AI assistant in the sci-fi blockbuster 'Her', many tech fans have dreamed of making that technology a reality.

But it now seems that OpenAI - the company behind chatbot tool ChatGPT - may have pursued that dream too literally.

The firm is facing accusations of deliberately copying Johansson's voice for ChatGPT's latest update.

According to Ms Johansson's statement, the likeness is 'so eerily similar to mine that close friends and news outlets could not tell the difference'.

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