Last week, Facebook announced a dramatic shift in its overall business strategy, renaming itself “Meta” and focusing its future efforts on virtual reality. However, some experts are already concerned that this push into the metaverse could compromise user privacy even more.
According to these experts, Facebook’s metaverse isn’t really about offering users an entertaining digital experience, but instead simply finding another way to hoover up our data.
“Facebook’s VR push is about data, not gaming,” said digital culture expert Marcus Carter. “Metaverse technologies like VR and AR are perhaps the most data-extractive digital sensors we’re likely to invite into our homes in the next decade.”
Of course, Facebook leadership is well aware of these concerns. For his part, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “interoperability, open standards, privacy, and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one.” He also said that the company will offer transparency into how the metaverse uses our data. But Facebook has made similar promises before, and it doesn’t always follow through on them. With the company already embroiled in so many privacy and data controversies, it will be interesting to see if any users actually want to enter Facebook’s virtual reality. At the moment, it may not seem like such a good idea.
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