Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

AI has completely blinded the ethics of software vendors.

The Sharp Ninja
2 min readMay 23, 2024

Windows Recall Will Be a Privacy Nightmare.

“We know that privacy is important,” Microsoft said in a blog post Monday. “Copilot+ PCs are also designed so that even the AI running on your device can’t access your private content. In addition, IT admins can use Microsoft Intune to disable Recall from saving any snapshots, and new policies are coming later to enable IT to centrally filter specific apps and websites.source

And how about when an organization intentionally forces Recall on users? And especially for specific sites, such as search engines and email clients? What about the clipboard? A policy to force Recall use for EVRY clipboard interaction would be disastrous for individuals’ privacy. And it’s not just corporations I fear using this, but also education — primary, secondary, and higher — where students using school issued computers would have their activities monitored. For many public school students, these computers are the only computer available to them, so their entire digital life is on it. If the school system adds a policy requiring Recall and it’s capturing all their keyboard and clipboard usage, then this would be highly invasive.

Folks, we are once again at a point where the ability to do something is overriding the ethical concerns of doing it.

This must be stopped. It’s not just Microsoft, either. There are already products doing this on MacOS as well. But if Microsoft gets away with this, then it will become standard in iOS and Android as well. This is a perfect example of Benjamin Franklin’s sage word that any man who will give up a little freedom to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. Just restate it as any many who will give up a little privacy to gain a little convenience.

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The Sharp Ninja

20+ years of professional software engineering has taught me a thing or three…