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The Metaverse Will Put Users’ Privacy At Risk

We already know how motivated you are Targetso called Facebookwith his project metaverse. The Metaverse is his vision of the future of virtual social relationships using virtual reality goggles. Therefore, Meta hopes that users can literally “live” in a World 3d, a place to play, talk, travel, work or study, among other things. While the metaverse seems like an interesting project, your privacy will be at risk.

When we talk about it social networks and mobile applications a they ask for our details To create accounts in them, privacy is a factor to consider. And it is that our data can be shown, filtered or even stolen, making our security. But these seem worthwhile, as a study has shown that the metaverse will put our privacy at even greater risk.

A study confirms that with VR they get more of our data than with mobile apps

Privacy Data Metaverse NFT

Many of us complain that mobile apps ask us to give too many permissions and keep track of what we do, but VR could be worse. According to a study titled “Exploring the Unprecedented Privacy Risks of the Metaverse,” conducted by experts at the UC Berkeley in the US and the Technical University of Munich in Germany, attackers can access a lot of data in VR. To do this, they tested a virtual reality (VR) game using it 30 people for their tests, for researchers Vivek Nair (UCB), Gonzalo Munilla Garrido (TUM) and Song of the dawn (UCB), looked at threats to privacy.

His research was more than fruitful 25 examples where the attackers could access our data, some of them impossible to find using mobile apps. But before we get surprised, we have to remember that we have known for years about the lack of security in virtual reality games or applications. For example, in 2012, the augmented reality game Incomecreated by Niantic Labs (same as Pokémon GO) as “a gold mine of data“.

“Right now, digital technologies can capture data pertaining to the facial expressionsthe hand movements and the gestures. Therefore, the personal and sensitive information that will leak through the metaverse in the future will include real-world information about the user’s habits and physiological characteristics.”

“Advancing technologies, especially in VR headsets and smart glasses, will make tracking possible biometric information and behavior on a record scale,” explains the Everest Group in its recent report: “Taming the Hydra: Trust and Safety in the Metaverse.”

Not only is the metaverse threatening our privacy, but so is VR hardware and software

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According to a recent study called “Security and Privacy Assessment of Common Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies,” both hardware and software are also at risk. In fact, they receive a lot of data from us, for example:

  • geospatial telemetry: Height, arm length, inseam length and room dimensions.
  • observations on behavior: Languages, manual dexterity, voice, reaction time, near vision, distance vision, color vision, cognitive acuity, and physical fitness.
  • Clear: bandwidth, proximity.
  • details device: Refresh rate, tracking rate, resolution, field of view of the device, GPU Y CPUs.

They may not be very important statistics, but they can rank us in terms genderethnicity, agedisabilities, among others. Also, there has to be a reason why Meta is spending so much money on advertising for the metaverse and VR. For example, the group Reality Labs of Meta, spent $12.5 billion get alone $2.3 billion in revenue. Therefore, it is believed that the company hopes to amortize these current losses with the metaverse and its privacy potential.

“We are in a situation where all these categories of information can be collected at the same time, in a few minutes. Because it is necessary to combine multiple characteristics to make inferences (for example, height and voice to deduce gender) , it’s the presence of all these data collection methods in the same place at the same time that makes VR unique in terms of being able to characterize user data with great accuracy.”

To combat this they think of making an incognito mode for VR called MetaGuard

Metaverse MetaGuard Incognito Mode Privacy

Before we worry about whether VR and the metaverse threaten our privacy, let’s say that this is just a study and research. However, the researchers themselves have gone ahead and presented their solution to the problem. It is a plugin for the graphics engine Unitycalled MetaGuard. As the name suggests, it will protect us from the VR universe of the metaverse, as well as other applications.

Its operation will be similar to a anonymity mode for the browser, but for use in VR. To do this, you will add noise with certain VR tracking measurements using a statistical technique called differential privacy. With this, you will allow them to not be precise enough to identify users and at the same time not have a significant impact on the user experience. In addition, it can be activated or deactivated, as well as offering different settings.