Metaverse: GlobalData urges developers of the metaverse to factor in data privacy from the beginning

Many tech giants have put their hat in the ring and invested billions into developing the metaverse, a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios. As more and more applications are found for this technology, there will be a profound risk to users’ personal data: biometrics, location, audio, visual and banking to name a few. With this in mind, leading data and analytics company GlobalData urges technology companies developing the metaverse to implement privacy by design, whereby developers proactively implement privacy protection into the design.

Charlotte Newton, Analyst on the Thematic Research team at GlobalData, comments: “The metaverse is at least a decade off becoming a reality, but when it arrives the possibilities will be endless. A time will soon be upon us where users will be able do things such as meet up in virtual cafes, despite living on opposite sides of the world. To protect all aspects of data privacy, the virtual platform must implement privacy by design, something that is already required of technologies crucial to the metaverse such as AR and VR.

“You cannot retroactively apply these privacy systems – they must be built in from scratch. Plus, the scale of the metaverse, accommodating millions of users, will make it even more difficult to control.

“Laying the groundwork for effective regulatory measures won’t be easy. While certain data is protected by legislation such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act, regulators are always lagging behind big tech. Regulators must hire experts that speak and understand the language of big tech to be able to regulate the metaverse more effectively and to know where it is headed.”

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