Software

Microsoft Recall disabled in Windows 11. Operation also changes

Microsoft Recall disabled in Windows 11. Operation also changes

After the “rumors” that have emerged in recent days, Microsoft has put its final decision on the controversial function in black and white Recall. After the criticism received in terms of security and privacy, after the publication of a tool called TotalRecall (created by a third-party developer) which shows how to steal personal data and confidential information, the Redmond company has decided to review some features of the tool who deals with record what appears on the screen and store it as a file.

Recall allows you to find instantly something that the user has already seen with his PC. The tool creates a timeline visually explorable, periodically capturing screenshots and facilitating the identification of information of interest.

In this way it is possible to trace information previously managed with any application installed or used in-cloud. In fact, Recall operates as a sort of photographic memory local, which makes it easier to locate apps, websites, images and documents.

Microsoft Recall becomes optional

The first news announced by Pavan Davuluri, Corporate Vice President, Windows + Devicesis perhaps the most important: while in the Release Preview of Windows 11 24H2, Recall was activated automatically, without asking users anything, with the release of the final version of the feature update the mechanism will result disabled per default setting. It will be up to the user to decide whether or not to use the Recall features.

To activate Recall, you will have to press the key combination Windows+Ichoose Privacy and security in the left column, select Recall e snapshot then put on Activated the option Store snapshots.

The improvements in terms of privacy and security

Although Windows 24H2 is now in an advanced state of development, Microsoft says it has listened to users and has immediately taken action to introduce remedy for criticism advanced.

First of all, Davuluri explains that the use of Windows Hello it will be essential to enable Recall. In short, each user will have to pass authentication via PIN, insertion of a graphic sequence, biometric recognition (face or fingerprint) before being able to activate the new feature of Windows 11. The objective is to avoid unwanted activations by third parties or malicious processes.

Again, Microsoft specifies that Windows 11 will verify the actual user presence in front of the PC, evidently to avoid abuse by applications running remotely.

While up to now the database Recall’s SQLite was “unencrypted” and easy to access, with Windows 11 24H2 in the final version it will finally be encrypted. Furthermore, the decoding just in time protected by Windows Hello Enhanced Sign-in Security (ESS), is proposed as an advanced data security measure. It guarantees that personal data is accessible only when the user authenticates correctly.

Protection through Windows Hello Enhanced Sign-in Security (ESS) ensures that only authorized users can access the encrypted data.

Microsoft tries to win the trust of users

The intervention of the number one of the Windows division, heir to Panos Panay, is openly aimed at regaining the trust of users. The introduction of a feature frowned upon by those who will use Windows 11 represents an own goal that cannot be avoided.

Now the Redmond company is trying to remedy the situation gaffe initial: presenting an insufficiently mature feature like Recall has already been a problem. Why? Because not even in the preview versions of Windows 11 24H2 should have been activated automatically and because the data collected should not have been so easily recoverable (and above all Microsoft should not have save in plain textwithout applying cryptographic measures).

Davuluri now explains that Microsoft is committed to building products and experiences that reflect the company’s mission: to enable people and organizations to do more with their Windows 11 devices by prioritizing privacy, security and trust. And remembering that Recall will not transfer any data either to Microsoft or to other parties, he cites them security features integrated into the operating system: ESS, already described previously, for more secure biometric access; SmartScreen; the Pluton chip considered as the evolution of the TPM.

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