Welcome to the Metaverse
The current Metaverse is presented as a massive multiplayer online VR universe, which means that user data could from now on be gathered from user behavior in Virtual Reality. I imagine that for data driven marketing, these possibilities seem extremely exciting. However, my aim for this meeting is to chat about ethical challenges this may pose.
VR technology brought a new way for the individual to be immersed in a digital world. While a user behind a screen is constantly reminded of the real world, as it exists to the right, left, above and behind the screen, the user in VR is deprived of these reminders. In VR, only VR exists, meaning that all emotion, all perception and all excitement is experienced in the most direct way cyberspace has ever been able to offer. Is it ethical for a marketeer to try to make maximal use of this notion? Or should you try to set some boundaries beforehand?
New generations of VR headsets may, for instance, incorporate options to gather data on pupil movement and dilation. Is it ethical to collect this data, when a consumer is visiting an online store? Should consumers always have the option to turn off this modus?
Oculus Quest II headsets show you your physical environment, to allow you to set a physical boundary. This information can, of course, be stored as well. Do we really want Meta to have this information about our private spaces, that can even be connected to our home address?