A Facebook whistleblower has outlined some concerns with Meta’s approach towards creating its metaverse and how it could impact consumer safety and privacy for users.
Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower that revealed a plethora of documents to the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Facebook’s inadequate response to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation spreading across the social media, recently gave a warning about Meta’s coming metaverse. For those that don’t know, the metaverse is a combination of the cryptocurrency blockchain and a shared online virtual world that features its own economy with a virtual token. An extreme example of a metaverse is the movie Ready Player One.
Haugen warns that if Meta doesn’t commit to transparency, access, and other accountability measures, she can see that the metaverse will feature a “repeat of all the harms you currently see on Facebook.” Specifically, the Facebook whistleblower is concerned about the privacy aspect of the metaverse, the impact on users required to put more “microphones and sensors” in their homes, and how that opens up the possibility of Meta “spying on you at home“.
“When we do the metaverse, we have to put lots more microphones from Facebook; lots more other kinds of sensors into our homes. You don’t really have a choice now on whether or not you want Facebook spying on you at home. We just have to trust the company to do the right thing,” she told Politico.