CNN: Privacy Experts Sound The Alarm Over Microsoft’s Latest AI Tool (ft. Jen Golbeck)

Maia Johnston - May 28, 2024

INFO Professor Jen Golbeck discussed potential pitfalls of new AI computer features

A screen with web code

In a recent interview with CNN, University of Maryland College of Information Studies (INFO) Professor Jen Golbeck discussed the announcement of new AI computers for Windows operating systems. These computers will include an AI feature called “Recall,” where users can access anything that has ever been on their screen—such as documents, images, and websites—by utilizing AI saved screenshots on their device. 

Golbeck discussed the potential pitfalls of this new technology, citing how “stuff may stay on your device, but that doesn’t mean people can’t get to it. You won’t have an option to protect yourself even if you use incognito mode or clear your history because the tool has access to everything that’s been on your screen.”

The “Recall” tool is currently being marketed as customizable, and users will be able to decide whether to turn it on during the device set up process. But concerns about transparency regarding user privacy continue to rise. Golbeck mentioned real world situations where a promise of personal data security may not be enough: a journalist in a hostile country, a person trying to get out of an abusive relationship, someone searching for sensitive medical information, or an employee whose boss wants to track them.

“The argument that hackers need physical access to even be able to manipulate Recall is short-sighted at best because there are plenty of highly ingenious ways threat actors could exploit such a valuable tool,” she said. “All it takes is time and effort to find a way.”

Read the article here

The original article was written by Samantha Kelly and published by CNN on May 22, 2024.