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Frances Haugen, the Facebook leaker at large, has shifted her attention to the Metaverse. She is concerned about Meta's handling of privacy and sensitive material.
Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, has said in a new interview that Meta's version of the Metaverse will merely replicate all of its prior errors.
Haugen stated in an interview with Politico: “They’ve made very grandiose promises about how there’s safety-by-design in the Metaverse. But if they don’t commit to transparency and access and other accountability measures, I can imagine just seeing a repeat of all the harms you currently see on Facebook.”
Haugen disclosed hundreds of Facebook internal papers to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Wall Street Journal in 2021. Her experience working for the firm has left her concerned about privacy issues and the corporation’s ability to collect data on every facet of Metaverse user interactions.
“I’m pretty concerned about the number of sensors involved. When we implement the Metaverse, we must install many more Facebook microphones and other types of sensors in our houses, she stated. “You no longer have many choices over whether or not you want Facebook to spy on you at home. We must have faith that the corporation will act ethically.”
Haugen is hardly the only worried party. According to a recent poll, 70% of respondents lack confidence in Meta’s privacy practices. Andy Yen, the chief executive officer of the encrypted email firm ProtonMail, is likewise concerned about the unilateral power of internet titans such as Meta. In an interview last week, he stated that his firm, Proton, will only exist due to the generosity of digital titans. “Tech titans might take us from the Internet without any legal or financial consequences,” he claimed.
Yen has previously voiced worries about the dominance of the Metaverse by Big Tech, stating to Newsweek a year ago that Meta was “creating a new infrastructure where they control everything. You are now in their world, on their devices, and their platform.”
Yen stated that given their record, we should not entrust Meta with such power and that privacy pledges in the Metaverse are meaningless unless the company’s commercial model changes.
In the digital realm, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) defends civil freedoms. It thinks, like Yen, that virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses, and other wearables will make data collecting and monitoring more accessible than ever. In December, they made the following statement: This data gathering, sometimes conducted by organizations with a history of placing profit above safeguards, paves the way for unprecedented intrusions into our lives, homes, and minds.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation fears that data gathered and exploited for targeted advertising would result in “biometric psychography” and that our deepest wishes and inclinations will be available for purchase. Once the information has been compiled, third parties may monetize it without our consent or awareness. While the Metaverse may appear to be a concern for the distant future, Chinese residents experience it daily.
China’s preferred social networking platform is WeChat. It has an excellent user base of more than one billion. Eight hundred fifty million of these are active users. The program is collecting information on Chinese users on an unprecedented scale. And the Chinese government can monitor every word, image, and video.
WeChat was heavily criticized by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) before this year’s Winter Olympic Games. While reporting, RSF recommended journalists safeguard themselves against Chinese monitoring. “RSF urges that journalists who visit China avoid downloading software that might allow Chinese authorities to monitor them,” they stated. Among these were WeChat and TikTok.