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Microsoft Recovery Feature Is Always Watching

The Wiretap is your weekly roundup of cybersecurity, internet privacy, and surveillance news. To receive it in your inbox, Subscribe here.

Last week, Microsoft announced a new feature in Windows 11: Recovery. This allows users to always find a way to get back to information they had previously reviewed by taking screenshots of everything happening on the computer every few seconds. Microsoft’s AI then makes all the information contained in those screenshots searchable and accessible for three months.

Privacy activists were alarmed by the announcement. The immediate fear was that Microsoft would have access to user activity, but CEO Satya Nadella comforted concerned customers by stating that the data is encrypted and only stored on the device, not transmitted anywhere else.

These guarantees did not stop criticism of the function. Another major concern is that if a hacker were to gain access to a Windows 11 device, he could go straight to Recall to get an accurate history of what a user has been doing. As one reviewer put it, the feature is similar to a “built-in-Windows” keylogger.

The UK’s privacy regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office, is already asking Microsoft about Recall and its promises to ensure user data is secure. “We expect organizations to be transparent with users about how their data is used and only process personal data to the extent necessary to achieve a specific purpose,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Other celebrities could face problems with AI voice cloning, not just Scarlett Johansson

OpenAI could face a possible lawsuit from actress Scarlett Johansson after she claimed that the voice of ChatGPT maker’s chatbot Sky sounded eerily similar to her own. OpenAI then brought out the voice. But experts said Forbes This problem could easily affect anyone now that technology has made voice cloning easier.

Stories you have to read today

Meanwhile, OpenAI, after dismantling its security team, announced an Oversight Board, which includes several directors and executives, including co-founder and CEO Sam Altman. He will make recommendations to the OpenAI board on critical safety and security decisions. Questions are immediately raised about whether executives on the oversight team will be effective in improving the security of OpenAI tools.

In addition to having their designs stolen, sportswear brand Popflex and other fashion retailers are having to deal with a new type of scammer: deepfakes who steal their marketing videos with swapped models’ faces. Forbes reports here.

Internet Archive, which maintains historical website logs and screenshots, is under a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack, making it difficult for users to access the site.

Most image-based misinformation is now generated by artificial intelligence, according to a new research report from Google and several fact-checking organizations. As 404 Media points out, the true magnitude of this problem is likely being underestimated.

Winner of the week

A cryptocurrency owner lost access to his password to a wallet containing $3 million, but hacker Joe Grand came to the rescue, according to cabling. An old flaw in the user’s RoboForm password manager was the key to unlocking the wallet and the funds it contained.

Loser of the week

According to TechCrunch, at least three Wyndham hotels in the United States have been infected with malware called pcTattletale, which can take screenshots of reservation details. A security flaw in spyware means anyone can now see what pcTattletale accesses.

More about Forbes

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