Scientists have predicted the metaverse as an unprecedented problem of user confidentiality

Scientists have predicted the metaverse as an unprecedented problem of user confidentiality

Students at the University of California in Berkeley published a study on user confidentiality in the metaverse, a virtual and complementary reality world, and the results were disappointing.

The authors built their research on the virtual reality game of "escapeut", with 30 volunteers participating in the project, as a result of which scientists discovered more than 25 attributes of personal data that potential perpetrators and platform operators can collect from users of the metaverse, although this information would be hard to access or not available at all through mobile applications and web sites.

Researchers listed the types of data that could become a moving product for meta-verse operators in the foreseeable future:

  • Geospatial telemetry — growth, length of arms, inter-sight distance of the user, size of the room; technical characteristics of the client device — frequency of display update and sensor survey, field of vision of the device, central and graphic processors; network data — channel width, client location; behavior — language, handshake, voice, speed of reaction, focus of vision, colour perception, cognitive properties, overall physical form.

All these data will make it possible to identify with a high degree of precision other personal parameters: gender, material position, nationality, age and physical limitations.

According to the authors of the study, the possibility of obtaining this data explains why, in particular, Meta* is so calm about the current catastrophic loss of its technology-oriented metaverse unit, Reality Labs, which in the past year alone was worth $10.2 billion in revenues of $2.3 billion.

Scientists noted that some of the data from this set could theoretically be obtained from mobile phones, but the metaverse is a single source of comprehensive data, sometimes in the course of the study there were situations where all of this information could be collected in a matter of minutes. In fact, the operators of the metaverse would have enough capacity to deonymize any user. With existing mobile applications and, all the more so, with websites, all of this is simply impossible.

In their research, the drafters wanted to draw public attention to the issue of the confidentiality of the metaverse and to encourage their colleagues to develop protective measures. One of them had already proposed a plague MetaGuard for the game engine Unit. He added to the information collected by AR/VR shlems a noise that prevented the identification of users but did not affect work. It was a kind of analogy to the incognito regime in the browser, which could be turned on and off when necessary.

* Listed on the list of voluntary associations and religious organizations in respect of which the court has taken a legally enforceable decision to abolish or prohibit activities on the grounds provided for in Federal Act No. 114-FZ of 25 July 2002 on countering extremist activities.