Microsoft has delayed its controversial Recall feature, an AI-powered history tracker due to be built into its AI PCs, after a backlash from the public and security experts, the company said on Thursday (13 June).

The Recall feature was described by Microsoft’s executive vice-president Yusuf Medhi as giving a computer photographic memory. Recall tracked everything from voice chats to web browsing, allowing users to search for anything they did months in the past. 

Recall will now not be widely released as part of its Copilot+ PC on 18 June and instead only be available for a preview on its Windows Insider Programme (WIP), the company said in a blog post.

Microsoft said Recall’s delay was “rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot+ PC users”.

Recall is set to be made available to all Copilot+ PCs after the company has received feedback from WIP, its public software testing programme that allows “Windows’ biggest fans” to preview upcoming features. 

Simon Pardo, director of technology specialist Computer Care, called the Recall function “a concerning development, particularly from a security standpoint”.

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“By compiling a user’s complete digital history across Microsoft services it creates a single point of failure that could be catastrophic for businesses,” Pardo said.

“Consolidating all these snapshots into one location creates a high-value target for attackers, potentially exposing a vast amount of sensitive information if breached,” he added.