Virtual reality does not respect your privacy.
The metaverse as a concept is gaining traction in the real world as well, with individuals and organizations engaging within its digital perimeter. This makes it important to ask tough questions about privacy, security, and legal expectations.
Despite the current reversal of the hype, the Metaverse has moved from a quirky proposal by an unconnected billionaire into a promising environment for heavy investment and growth over the next few years. As the technologies that enable and power the metaverse become more accessible and cost-effective, the innovations that thrive within the metaverse will become more engaging and immersive.
According to Citi research, the metaverse market could reach $8 trillion to $13 trillion over the next seven years. This is a similar view by McKinsey, although their estimate is somewhat conservative of “only” $5 trillion by 2030, but as McKinsey points out, this is exactly what happens in virtual worlds. It’s a real business.
“This is a space of immense potential across a variety of users, platform markets and industries, and is an evolutionary step further from the current Web2 Internet,” said Anna Collard, SVP of Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa. says.
“But as much as we look at the technologies that drive our digital lives, it is also important to look at the security and privacy laws that shape our digital lives today and in the future. How people protect their privacy in virtual worlds. There are many questions about whether it can be done.
“Which jurisdictions apply in an immersive and interactive virtual world where citizens of different countries interact? How will different data protection regulations be put in place to protect information and individuals? Huh? These challenges of today’s Internet are still unsolved, and we will face new challenges as new technologies advance.”
It’s a vague space. So, do data protection regulations recognize that the Metaverse is its own country, governed by its own laws and regulations? How does the firm untangle this complexity?
According to law firm OneTrust Data Guide, the data-driven nature of the Metaverse creates risks regarding the processing of personal data. The company also reiterated that the application of regulations such as GDPR depends on the end-user’s location, not residence or citizenship. But where is the location in the metaverse? Is it the end-user’s physical location, the avatar’s location, or the relevant server’s location?
This is a view shared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) during a recent discussion on the importance of protecting virtual reality (VR) user privacy.
In a recent article, the organization asked what would happen if data collected from VR experiences and behavior were used to determine an individual’s financial future. For example, if game data is sold to a financial company, and that financial company denies access to an individual’s policies based on specific tracking points in the data, this would be a violation of that person’s privacy, and that person’s This will have a significant impact on your personal information. future.
In particular, consider that data collected within the VR realm can identify individuals with 90% accuracy, even when the data is anonymized.
“This is a truly alarming situation, especially for individuals who may know highly personal information or discover painful health realities without any medical diagnosis or assistance. is,” Corrado says. “Suddenly, they are dragged out of this immersive world into the real world, but there is no way to support them or challenge decisions made by big corporations on completely unethical grounds. There are no safeguards.”
This impact extends to advertising and even more malicious use cases within the metaverse. In other words, the collection of information based on an individual’s behavior within this environment is sold to more effectively improve or target advertising and misinformation campaigns.
What people like and even think in the virtual world is obtained from bio-neurofeedback markers and analyzed. The decisions they make can be predicted, compellingly influenced, or manipulated by a conversational, generative AI that responds to input in real time.
“This is beyond what we can do today, and we are still unable to fully assess the impact of the damage, as it has the potential to manipulate people on a wide scale. is an ethical issue regarding the use of generative and multimodal AI in online advertising.
“Conversational chat bots powered by multimodal ML can react in real time to the input they receive and use this to persuade users towards the goals of advertisers and political parties. may or may not benefit the consumer.
“We need to strictly define privacy within the metaverse and how information is collected and sold. We need to protect our children and families and prevent platform providers from taking away what they need to make a profit.” There is a wealth of potential and amazing experiences in the Metaverse, but all of this can be undermined when the data collected impacts people’s lives.”