What can we do to make the metaverse more secure?

In November of last year, Meta’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg, stated that the business is focusing on improving the metaverse’s safety and privacy protections. Already under pressure from lawmakers and regulators for privacy issues and its inability to control hate speech on its social media network Facebook, the metaverse’s arrival has created new security concerns. In response, Andrew Bosworth, the man in charge of Facebook’s AR and VR operations, stated that while monitoring how people “talk or behave on a wide scale is essentially difficult,” the firm is best suited for the job.

Horizon Worlds, a virtual reality online video game, is Meta’s flagship endeavor to build something that is thought to be near to the company’s metaverse goal. After a metaverse beta tester accused her online avatar of sexual abuse, the game’s ease of virtual connection aroused concerns. When users use their VR headsets to access the Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues apps, Meta launched a tool dubbed ‘personal boundary’ on February 4th. To prevent occurrences of virtual groping and other abusive behavior, the tool will keep a space of four feet between their virtual avatars.

In the metaverse, identity fraud and theft are a big concern, hence users’ digital identities must be protected. Our Google accounts will include significantly less personal information than the metaverse. Meta was reportedly collecting biometric data, such as users’ pupil movements and body positions, in order to build avatars and hyper-targeted adverts, in addition to credit card and bank account information.

Advertisers may easily flood the metaverse with their advertisements. Constant video pop-ups, sponsored material, and repeating adverts may be even more annoying to consumers due to the metaverse’s sensory overload. Ads are expected to flood the metaverse, according to critics. Following Facebook’s announcement that it will begin testing in-headset adverts, the corporation faced a barrage of criticism from developers. The criticism was “far too much,” according to Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs.

As technology improves, plenty of new and more significant issues are likely to emerge. Virtual attacks have been shown to turn into physical attacks, according to research. By controlling the VR platform, an attacker may reset the physical limitations of hardware, similar to how a user could be pushed down a flight of steps. As augmented reality becomes more popular, users may be misdirected into potentially dangerous scenarios such as robberies. Even hypothetical attacks could cause motion sickness, making users feel nauseous. “We know that people could have motion sickness in VR,” Kavya Pearlman, founder, and CEO of XR Safety Initiative noted. The author may have purposefully included something that makes you sick when you click on it.”

Companies will need to do more than just alter policies to protect users’ data and privacy, according to Pearlman. To address the privacy and security challenges, a trustworthy ecosystem must be established that can develop algorithms, frameworks, and rules. “We believe that the metaverse can be made incredibly secure with the correct mix of tech and protocols,” said Serge Gianchandani, co-founder of MetaMall, a metaverse firm that sells high-end real estate and experiences. Both the privacy by design and privacy by default methodologies are used by us. Wherever possible, the default is to disguise the user’s personal information and allow the user to customize his privacy settings.”

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