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The CEO of Microsoft has openly boasted about a new artificial intelligence feature that could prove a double threat to privacy and to free speech.

Satya Nadella, in a clip posted to X (formerly Twitter) from his Wall Street Journal interview, enthusiastically detailed a feature — Microsoft Recall — that even his interviewer suggested could be considered “creepy.” Microsoft’s Edge search engine can take constant screenshots of a user’s activities to recreate “moments from the past.” But while the obvious and glaring danger is that of the apparent threat to privacy, Microsoft’s record of targeting free speech indicates Recall could potentially be used in violation of free speech too. It’s as if Microsoft is intent on bringing George Orwell’s Big Brother concept from his chilling 1984 novel to life.

“How do we introduce memory, right? Photographic memory into what you do on the PC?” Nadella asked. “And now we have it, so it’s called Recall. It’s not keyword search, right, it’s semantic search over all your history. And it’s not just about any document, we can recreate moments from the past, essentially.” Talk about terrifying. 

The interviewer then illustrated how the feature worked. “Windows constantly takes screenshots of what’s on your screen, then uses a generative AI model right on the device, along with the NPU, to process all that data and make it searchable, even photos,” she explained. She warned Nadella:“There could could be this reaction from some people that this is pretty creepy. Microsoft is taking screenshots of everything I do.”

Nadella nodded but argued, “I mean, that’s why that you can only do it on the Edge.” He dismissed concerns by simply saying the feature was voluntary: “You have to put two things together. This is my computer, this is my Recall, and it’s all being done locally.” It was not clear from the clip what Microsoft does with the mined data besides use it for Recall.

Why is that so concerning? Microsoft has in fact crushed free speech and secretively promoted censorship before. For instance, in 2021, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) called out the tech giant for censorship on its Bing search engine. “On behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, Microsoft has censored Bing search engine results of Tank Man on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests including results for users in the United States and has muzzled the voices of China critics on LinkedIn,” Jordan accused. Since then, in 2023, Microsoft Ads was exposed for using the Global Disinformation Index, a site that blacklisted right-leaning websites online. Microsoft’s Bing displays clear leftist bias, too. It is also key to note that that users of newer Windows operating systems cannot physically uninstall Microsoft Edge, meaning that if Recall is a permanent feature attached to Edge, then they cannot uninstall the Recall feature either.

Could Recall be used to suppress or blacklist individuals for their opinions too? Only time will tell.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.