Forget Recall, Windows is already tracking what you do. Hashtag Trending for Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Forget Recall, Microsoft is already tracking you since Windows 10. Adobe says they must see your projects or you can’t use photoshop.  Apple Stock Surges with new AI strategyMore from the X files – the Musk is out there.

These stories and more on this “WTF” edition of Hashtag Trending. I’m your host Jim Love, let’s get into it.

Forget Recall, the new Microsoft app that tracks everything you do on your PC. What most people don’t know, including me until I read this, is that Microsoft is already tracking everything you do.

So if you’re concerned about Microsoft’s recently announced feature tracking all your computing activities, you may want to check your existing Windows privacy settings. It turns out Windows 10 and 11 already include an “activity history” feature that logs much of what you do on your PC.

This tracking was originally implemented for the Windows 10 Timeline feature, which provided a view of your recent activities across devices. But even though Timeline was removed in Windows 11, activity tracking remains enabled by default.

Joao Carrasqueira of Windows Central explains how to disable this Setting:

“Open the Settings app, then go to Privacy & Security > Activity History. Turn off the ‘Store my activity history’ toggle and click ‘Clear history’ to purge any data already collected.”

While the tracked data doesn’t get synced to Microsoft’s servers, it’s still there and most users don’t even know about it.

There are instructions in the show notes about how to shut this off. And according to Window’s Central,  “Disabling activity history should have no negative impact…considering [Timeline] is not available in Windows 11. But if you’re worried about Recall in Copilot+, that’s not much different from this.”

So whether you’re concerned about Copilot’s surveillance or just value your digital privacy, checking this Windows setting is a simple step to keep your activities to yourself.

Sources: Window’s Central and XDA-Developers

And another surprise –  Sam Santala, who describes himself as a concept artist and founder of Songhorn Studios posted a tweet that he sent to @Adobe and @Photoshop which said,
“So am I reading this right? I can’t use Photoshop unless I’m okay with you having full access to anything I create with it, INCLUDING NDA work?”

Attached was a copy of a paragraph from Photoshops new terms and conditions, which reads…

2.2 **Our Access to Your Content.** We may access, view, or listen to your Content (defined in section 4.1 (Content) below) through both automated and manual methods, but only in limited ways, and only as permitted by law. For example, in order to provide the Services and Software, we may need to access, view, or listen to your Content to (A) respond to Feedback or support requests; (B) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, legal, or technical issues; and (C) enforce the Terms, as further set forth in Section 4.1 below. Our automated systems may analyze your Content and Creative Cloud Customer Fonts (defined in section 3.10 (Creative Cloud Customer Fonts) below) using techniques such as machine learning in order to improve our Services and Software and the user experience. Information on how Adobe uses machine learning can be found here: [http://www.adobe.com/go/machine_learning](http://www.adobe.com/go/machine_learning).

I’ve included the entirety of the text.  Full warning – I have not had time before going to air to find a copy of the license agreement and read these lines for myself, I’m taking Sam at his word, but this does appear to be a screen shot of an actual license.  WTF indeed.

Sources include: NicheGamer.com

And from the X files, three stories today about Elon Musk. First, he’s back to pushing his board about increasing his compensation plan. Musk is demanding a mix of cash and stock amounting to more than 50 billion dollars and if he doesn’t get it, he’s threatening to “place his attention elsewhere. And he could do that.

Obviously if he follows the money, he won’t be focusing on Twitter – at least as a money maker.  But one analysis speculated he could focus more on Space-X and taking that public.

In other Musk news, Axios reports that he has dropped his lawsuit against OpenAI. He gave no reason for this, but the trove of emails that seemed to indicate that Musk has supported the companies direction that he now criticizes might have something to do with it.  OpenAI was scheduled to have a motion to dismiss heard in front of a judge, maybe Musk thought he’d lose that.

But don’t worry, Elon has found something else to get upset about.  His latest feud seems to be with Apple and its new alliance with OpenAI.  Musk has had a burr under his saddle with Apple since they stopped advertising in Twitter-X when Musk endorsed an anti-semetic post.

But when Apple started working with OpenAI, Elon launched a set of blistering tweets, claiming that this new offering will be a privacy nightmare and that if, “if Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies. That is an unacceptable security violation.”

But it’s not just employees.  “Visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage.”

Now some speculate that Elon is upset because he is developing his own AI to compete with OpenAI. Others claim he is truly worried about privacy. If that’s true, it’s a new direction for Elon as Reuter’s reported just last year that Tesla employees have spied on customers using the cars’ many cameras.

You just never know what to think – but the truth is out there.

Sources include: Axios and TwitterX

Speaking of Apple – what a difference a day makes.  And aren’t you supposed to “buy on rumours and sell on facts?”

We commented on the fact that Apple’s stock dropped with the initial reveal of its plans at its recent World Wide Developers Conference.  Then, the stock did a big turnaround and hit a new all-time high, closing up 7.3% after the company unveiled its latest AI strategy.

Why?  Analysts note the new AI capabilities like improved Siri and advanced image processing are exclusive to Apple’s highest-end iPhones. As Melius Research’s Ben Reitzes said: “Older stuff will be obsolete if you want AI – including all those iPhones bought during COVID.”

Reitzes expects this could drive up to 20% iPhone revenue growth for Apple over the next two years as users rush to upgrade for access to the AI features.

Analysts talk about how Apple’s control over both hardware and software allows it to create exclusive user experiences. What they don’t often say is that it also allows it to create demand for newer hardware.

Sources include: Axios

And that’s our show for today.

Hashtag Trending goes to air 5 days a week with a daily news show, with a weekend interview show we call the Weekend Edition.

Show notes are at technewsday.ca or .com  – either one works.

We love your comments.  Contact me at editorial@technewsday.ca

I’m your host Jim Love, have a Thrilling Thursday

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