According to a paper by the NYU Stem Centre for Business and Human Rights (CBHR), the emergence of the Metaverse could cause unparalleled privacy erosion and a sharp rise in physical violence. The CBHR research urges governments and the Web3 sector to take decisive action to avert an impending security and privacy disaster.
The Metaverse, often called Extended Reality or Spatial Computing, is a virtual universe where users can engage in work, education, and social interaction in a 3D-rendered setting. The immersive aspect of the Metaverse is a possible threat to users’ safety and privacy, according to the CBHR assessment. According to the article, the Metaverse would make use of biological information and spatial context, which can reveal private details about people’s lives, including their physical and mental health. According to CBHR, this data could be used for political or financial benefit by attackers and advertisers, undermining privacy. The paper highlights the possibility for negative conduct in virtual spaces, such as child abuse and sexual harassment.
The CBHR emphasises the necessity for proactive steps to defend human rights on the 3D immersive web, given that major tech companies like Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Sony have invested extensively in the Metaverse. The research makes many recommendations for the industry to follow in order to prevent an impending privacy and security disaster.These include giving users greater alternatives to manage their exposure to privacy and safety issues as well as removing user body-based data not required for device performance. The paper also urges governments to increase their ability to regulate digital businesses, including the Metaverse, and to create comprehensive federal privacy legislation. Additionally, CBHR recommends that governments should give federal authorities the authority to examine the effects that immersive technologies have on human health and the environment. CBHR thinks that in order to safeguard human rights, both the business community and policymakers must take appropriate action.