Metaverse privacy concerns and how to address them

The metaverse is rapidly evolving and will soon become a major interface for immersive and highly personal interactions between businesses and consumers and for business dealings.

Data privacy in this anonymous area is a moving target. This article outlines the main privacy concerns and risks in the metaverse, as well as tips for businesses and users on how to mitigate them.

How does the metaverse work and is it sensitive to data privacy?

The metaverse is a virtual environment in which people – Gods In metaverse terms – can connect, interact and make transactions. This convergence of the digital and physical world stems from the Greek deadmeaning after or after, and verseIn short, the universe.

There are two main types of metaverse:

  1. Virtual Reality It provides artificial reality usually through a VR headset that takes over the user’s field of view to provide an immersive experience. Immersive experiences include voice and positional body tracking to enable movement of body parts, such as hands, to interact with the virtual environment.
  2. augmented reality Less attractive than virtual reality. Adds virtual overlays on top of the real world through a lens of some sort. Users can still interact with their real-world surroundings. Examples of augmented reality include a smartphone using the Waze app where the host can see the user’s location and guess their intentions.

Currently, there are no regulations or governing bodies that address the privacy concerns that go along with the new technology. This includes the two primary metaverse technologies – VR and AR – that use intrusive sensors and collect data.

How can metaverse data privacy issues affect businesses and users?

For companies leaping into the metaverse as property owners or renters, it’s important to be aware of two key privacy dimensions: the privacy practices of the platform owners who host their properties and – moreover – their own privacy policies that they will adhere to.

These two policies should be compiled and distilled into a privacy framework that customers can understand. The lack of a regulatory framework makes this difficult, but without this aggregation, the company runs the risk of a reputation-damaging privacy incident that could extend beyond the metaverse into the real world.

Consumers are less aware of what the privacy metaverse means, so companies that take a leadership role in explaining this concept in simple terms in the bud can build a strong and loyal customer base.

What metaverse privacy issues should you be aware of?

Some of the major privacy issues in the metaverse that businesses and their customers need to be aware of include:

  • lack of privacy regulations,
  • Intrusive and comprehensive data collection,
  • Users data rights and ownership,
  • Interpreting current regulations in the metaverse,
  • user privacy to user and
  • Minors’ privacy concerns.

What can you do to alleviate these fears?

Companies can take the following actions to alleviate privacy concerns in the metaverse. Users should also ask about these actions when checking privacy policies in the metaverse.

Offer a privacy policy tailored to your business.

As in the connected real world of today, owners or tenants of metaverses who make their services or products accessible to third parties – i.e. customers, partners and guests – must provide a privacy policy. The privacy policy should be clear and easy to understand by customers and strictly followed by landlords and tenants.

Note that some of this information may already be part of the metaverse hosting platform provider’s policies. However, as a property owner or renter, your customers are your responsibility, and you need to enhance the metaverse provider’s platform policy with your own practices based on the features and services that your property offers.

Create an applicable metaverse privacy policy.

The metaverse data privacy policy should state in a human and understandable manner what data is collected and for how long. Data types include:

  • sensor data,
  • location data,
  • Physiological data and
  • Social data.

The policy should also clarify the rights of users to access, download and disinfect their personal data.

metaverse privacy concerns
Here are five steps companies can take to alleviate data privacy concerns in the metaverse.

Asset ownership management.

User-generated content in the metaverse – referred to as virtual digital assets (VDAs) – diverse, unique, and can run a whole chain of non-replaceable tokens (VDAs)NFTs) for avatar skins. As mentioned above, malicious users who assume fake identities can wreak havoc by raping them and claiming ownership of content. The result is customer distrust and dissatisfaction with the property. Apply techniques like blockchain Tracking asset ownership is one way of managing content ownership and ensuring the privacy of asset ownership.

Apply current data privacy regulations.

Because the metaverse is available worldwide, the traditional definition of data placement and region-based privacy regimes as defined by GDPR, for example, is not entirely applicable. For example, if an EU citizen decides to check out a US property hosted by an Australian platform, the three privacy regulations can apply. To reduce the risk, it is recommended that platform owners, landlords, and renters rely on compiling the strictest privacy regulations. This may not be possible for reasons of expediency and cost, but if this practice is not followed, the level of risk goes up.

Enforce user privacy to the user.

Unlike the real world – where spying on people and illegal use of that data may be obvious – it’s quite easy to record and share data without the participants in the metaverse knowing. Because there are no regulations, there are no penalties or repercussions for doing so. Since metaverse avatars can be deficient, strict vetting is urgently needed to prevent abuse in user-to-user communication. The onus is again on the platform owner, property owners and tenants to make clear that unauthorized collection and sharing of data is not permitted and the penalties for doing so.

The future of data privacy in the metaverse

The future Data privacy in the metaverse will be determined not by regulators or governments, but by businesses and consumers.

Here are three possible scenarios:

  1. Large companies that are leaning forward and have a customer base that they need to maintain and grow will take a proactive stance and create a law of privacy rights for their customers. This also allows proactive companies to dictate which metaverse platforms they will choose based on adherence to these principles.
  2. Companies that build real estate on the metaverse will play the second role of metaverse platform owners. Companies that do not invest the time or energy in understanding the privacy policies of these platforms will remain at risk even as more time and budget are invested in the metaverse.
  3. Big metaverse tech platforms like Meta will continue to dictate data privacy and what isn’t. Both the companies and consumers of these platforms – who are the source of huge amounts of valuable user data – will be mere spectators when these policies unfold.

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