Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Microsoft to Delay Release of Recall AI Feature on Security Concerns

FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
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Microsoft to Delay Release of Recall AI Feature on Security Concerns

FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, US October 19,2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

Microsoft will not roll out "Recall", an AI-powered feature that tracks computer usage, with its new computers next week and will instead preview it with a smaller group later, the tech giant said on Thursday, amid concerns of privacy risks.

The Recall feature tracks web browsing to voice chats, creating a history stored on the computer that the user can search when they need to remember something they did, even months later, Reuters reported.

Recall will now be available only for a preview on its Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks instead of being broadly available for Copilot+ PC users on June 18, Microsoft said in a blog post.

The decision is "rooted in our commitment to providing a trusted, secure and robust experience for all customers and to seek additional feedback prior to making the feature available to all Copilot+ PC users," the Redmond, Washington-based company said.

Copilot+ PCs are a category of personal computers with artificial intelligence (AI) features that were unveiled in May.

The WIP is a public software testing program that allows millions of "Windows biggest fans" to preview upcoming features for the operating system.

The company said it plans to make the Recall preview available for all Copilot+ PCs coming soon after feedback from the WIP community.

Privacy concerns were raised soon after the announcement of this feature, with some social media users expressing fears that it could enable spying, while billionaire technologist Elon Musk called it a "Black Mirror episode", making comparisons to the Netflix series that explores the harmful effects of advanced technology.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : Amazon Must Comply with US Agency's Pregnancy Bias Probe, Judge Rules

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Boves, France, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Boves, France, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
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Amazon Must Comply with US Agency's Pregnancy Bias Probe, Judge Rules

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Boves, France, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Boves, France, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

A New York federal judge has ordered Amazon.com to comply with a subpoena from a US civil rights agency investigating claims that the online retailer discriminated against pregnant warehouse workers.

US District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan late Thursday rejected Amazon's claims that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) subpoena was too broad and sought irrelevant information.

The EEOC is seeking data on requests that pregnant workers at five US warehouses made for accommodations such as limits on heavy lifting and additional breaks, and whether Amazon granted or denied them, Reuters reported.
The commission's probe was prompted by complaints from five women who say they faced pregnancy discrimination while working at Amazon warehouses in New Jersey, Connecticut, North Carolina, and California.

Amazon provided the EEOC with more than 200,000 pages of data in response to the subpoena, but not the specific information requested by the agency, according to court filings.

Schofield in her ruling said the information sought in the subpoenas was necessary for the EEOC to determine whether Amazon engaged in illegal discrimination. The judge gave Amazon until Aug. 9 to comply with the subpoena.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. An EEOC spokesman declined to comment.

In 2022, a New York state agency filed an administrative complaint accusing Amazon of requiring pregnant and disabled warehouse workers to take unpaid leaves of absence, even if they were capable of working, instead of providing accommodations. That case is pending.

Amazon has denied wrongdoing and said it strives to support it workers, but acknowledged in a statement responding to the New York complaint that "we don't always get it right."

The EEOC launched its probe last year and issued a subpoena seeking five categories of information, including data on accommodations Amazon provided to warehouse workers with disabilities. At the time, federal law only required companies to provide the same accommodations to pregnant workers that they gave to employees with disabilities.

A law passed later last year mandates that employers accommodate workers' pregnancies regardless of how they treat workers with disabilities.