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House Administration Halts Use of Microsoft Copilot over Data Security Risks

US House bans Microsoft's Copilot AI over data leak concerns. Microsoft plans a secure government version for later in 2024

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The U.S. House of Representatives has enacted a ban on the use of Microsoft's Copilot assistant by its staff members. The decision, as reported by Axios, is based on guidance from the House's Chief Administrative Officer, Catherine Szpindor. The directive specifically targets the removal and blocking of all features from Windows devices operated by House staff. The Office of has identified the application as a potential risk for leaking sensitive House data to cloud services not sanctioned by the House.

Evaluating Future Versions for Government Use

Despite the current prohibition, has disclosed its intention to release a version of the AI chatbot tailored for government operations by the summer of 2024. This forthcoming variant aims to satisfy the elevated security and compliance standards required by federal government entities. A Microsoft spokesperson has emphasized the company's commitment to meeting these stringent requirements through a planned roadmap of Microsoft AI tools, including Copilot. The House's Chief Administrative Officer's office has stated it will conduct a thorough evaluation of this government-specific version upon its release to determine its suitability and security for House staff usage.

Innovation Amidst Caution

In parallel, Microsoft continues to innovate, announcing enhancements to Copilot for its Microsoft 365 business and education clientele. A notable upcoming feature is designed to leverage content created in applications such as Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint to refine Copilot's responses to user prompts. This enhancement is scheduled for deployment in April 2024, underscoring Microsoft's ongoing efforts to improve and expand the capabilities of its AI offerings.

Such developments highlight the balance between leveraging advanced technology to enhance productivity and ensuring the security and privacy of sensitive information. The situation with the U.S. House of Representatives serves as a pivotal example of the challenges and considerations at play in the adoption of generative AI technologies within government and secure environments.

SourceAxios
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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