There is Facebook Announced The latest version of its successful standalone virtual reality (VR) headset, The Oculus Quest 2. The new device packs more computing power and a sharper screen than its predecessor and is US $ 100 cheaper.
Oculus Quest 2 is the latest step in Facebook’s long-term strategy to make VR more accessible and popular. Facebook recently brought all of its VR work under one umbrella Facebook Reality Labs, Announced new apps like this Infinite Office VR Office, And will Facebook login required For future Oculus devices.
Many users are concerned about the social media giants considering the mandatory link to Facebook Checked history with privacy and data. VR and its cousin, augmented reality (AR), are probably the data-extractive digital sensors we are likely to invite into our homes over the next decade.
Why does Facebook make virtual reality headsets?
Facebook VR acquired Oculus in 2014 US $ 2.3 billion. Where Oculus first targeted gamers, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg wants a VR for social media.
At a similar event last year, Zuckerberg said Facebook was looking at VR as a way to a new kind of “social computing platform”, using a better sense of the “presence” that VR has to offer. For Facebook, the introduction of VR-based computing jumps from text-based command line interfaces to the graphical user interfaces we use today.
This may be correct. VR provides a strong sense of embodied existence that offers new opportunities to entertain, train, practice and connect with others at a distance.
VR is the future but Facebook “Working in the laboratory”On, it works through the company’s current social computing platform and data collection business model to deliver targeted advertising.
Virtual reality collects real data
The VR headset collects data not only about the user, but also about the outside world. This is crucial Moral issues Emerging “mixed reality” technologies.
As an American VR researcher Written by Jeremy Bylenson:
Commercial VR systems typically track body movements 90 times per second to optimally display scenes, and high-end systems record 18 types of movements over the head and arms. Consequently, spending 20 minutes in VR simulation is less than 2 million exclusive recordings of body language.
It can be the way you move your body Used to identify yourself, Like a fingerprint, so everything you do in VR can be identified with your personal identity.
Facebook’s Oculus Quest headsets also use external face cameras to track and map their surroundings.
At the end of 2019 Facebook said They “do not collect or store images or 3D maps of your environment on our servers today”. Notice the word Today, Any tech journalist Ben Long Notes The company makes it clear that it will not rule out anything in the future.
Virtual reality leads to augmented reality
Facebook wants to collect this data to facilitate its plans for augmented reality (AR).
While VR takes the user into a fully virtual environment, AR integrates virtual elements with our real surroundings.
Last year Facebook unveiled the Live Maps application, the focus of an extensive surveillance tool, possibly powered by AR glasses and data collected from Oculus Insight. Live Maps offers very little convenience to Facebook users, such as letting you know that you have placed your keys on the coffee table.
Now Facebook has announced their first steps to make this a reality: Project Area. It includes people who wear mirror-like sensors around the Seattle and San Francisco Bay area to gather data to build what Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly calls them. “MirrorWorld”, The next big tech platform.
People are rightly concerned about the ethical implications of this type of data extraction. Along with Project Aria, Facebook has launched its Responsible Innovation Principles Page, and they have already emphasized that the faces and license plates in this data collection are obscure.
As we have Argued elsewhere, Creating questions about VR and AR surveillance in terms of personal privacy is well suited for companies like Facebook. Because their previous failures were actually in the (un) ethical use of data (as in the case) Cambridge Analytica) And their Unequal stage power.
We need more than ‘Tech Ethics’
Many emerging technologies confront the familiar Callingridge problem: Until the technology is widely developed and widely used it is very difficult to control its various effects, but by then it is almost impossible to control or change.
Attempts, we just saw it play Controls the power of Google and Facebook over news media.
As David Watts argues, Big Tech sets its own rules of ethics Avoid scrutiny and accountability:
Feeling good, high-level data ethics principles are not enough to control big tech The damage associated with big tech can only be solved through proper control.
How to control Facebook’s VR? Germany provides such a response – their terms of infidelity came up on Facebook Withdraw the headset from sale. We only hope that the technology will not be changed or challenged.
But the regulation never stopped Facebook, who paid US $ 550 million To resolve a lawsuit for breach of biometric privacy laws. In the multi-billion dollar world of Big-Tech, all of this is the cost of doing business.
We may question ourselves as to whether Facebook’s virtual-reality future and others really need to exist. There may be other ways to keep your keys from being forgotten.
Marcus Carter, Senior Lecturer in Digital Cultures, SOAR Fellow., University of Sydney And Ben Egliston, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Digital Media Research Center, Queensland University of Technology