Dystopia Alert!

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File

I can't imagine that people have been clamoring for this feature, but perhaps I am out of touch. 

Microsoft is installing a feature in their widely-used Windows operating system that will take a screenshot of EVERYTHING you do on your computer and use artificial intelligence to make it completely searchable. 


The Stasi will no longer need to spy on you. Your computer will instead

At a Build conference event on Monday, Microsoft revealed a new AI-powered feature called "Recall" for Copilot+ PCs that will allow Windows 11 users to search and retrieve their past activities on their PC. To make it work, Recall records everything users do on their PC, including activities in apps, communications in live meetings, and websites visited for research. Despite encryption and local storage, the new feature raises privacy concerns for certain Windows users.

"Recall uses Copilot+ PC advanced processing capabilities to take images of your active screen every few seconds," Microsoft says on its website. "The snapshots are encrypted and saved on your PC’s hard drive. 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."

Using this feature, you can go back in time to monitor your use of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CDBCs) and calculate your social credit score. 


No doubt China will soon be requiring that all people use Windows 11 computers to ensure that the Secret Police have constant access to everything you do. No VPN would stand up to a steady stream of snapshots taken of all your computer activities. 

At first glance, the Recall feature seems like it may set the stage for potential gross violations of user privacy. Despite reassurances from Microsoft, that impression persists for second and third glances as well. For example, someone with access to your Windows account could potentially use Recall to see everything you've been doing recently on your PC, which might extend beyond the embarrassing implications of pornography viewing and actually threaten the lives of journalists or perceived enemies of the state.

Despite the privacy concerns, Microsoft says that the Recall index remains local and private on-device, encrypted in a way that is linked to a particular user's account. "Recall screenshots are only linked to a specific user profile and Recall does not share them with other users, make them available for Microsoft to view, or use them for targeting advertisements. Screenshots are only available to the person whose profile was used to sign in to the device," Microsoft says.


How reassuring. It is, given these safeguards, impossible to imagine why anybody wouldn't want their computer taking screenshots of their activities all the time, indexing them, and allowing the user to search for anything in the history using natural language. 

Who thought this up? Xi? Klaus Schwab? Christopher Wray?

Are you now, or have you ever been a Catholic? Do you know Latin? Do you read J.K. Rowling tweets?

This Windows feature is just one of many examples of corporations intruding into our lives to track what we do, where we go, what we spend our money on, and who we spend time with. 

Cars are spying on us. Search engines are spying on us. Credit card companies are reporting our purchases to the government. Banks monitor people's politics and dump conservatives as customers. 

It's dystopian. 

There are so many ironies to this, but the biggest is that liberals 50 years ago were warning us that this was coming, but now they have embraced the technology because they are the establishment who can use it to cut people they don't like out of society. 

Microsoft claims that they have created enough privacy protections to safeguard people from outside spying, but do you really believe that? Ask OnStar customers how they feel about the company selling their data to insurance companies without their knowledge. 


I have no idea how we can stop this sort of thing because there is clearly a major push to integrate monitoring technology into everything. 

Apple emphasizes privacy in its marketing, and so far, it has done a reasonable, if not perfect, job of preserving it. But as more of our data migrates to the cloud, it's hard to know how safe it is. 

This new feature is one more reason I am glad to have made the switch to Apple products. They have their quirks, of course, but as far as I know Apple makes so much money off me already that they aren't data mining my activities. 

At least I hope not. 

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