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TRAI red-flags metaverse privacy, safety, and security concerns

The telecom regular TRAI has red-flagged concerns around Metaverse, raising critical issues such as privacy, safety, and security which require greater deliberation.

According to TRAI, the technology will track users — where they go, who they are with, what they do, what they look at, and even how long their gaze lingers.

“Immersive platforms will also track facial expressions, vocal inflections, and vital signs, while intelligent algorithms use such data to predict each person’s real-time emotional state. Tracking will also include real-time monitoring of user gait and posture, assessing when users slow down to browse products or services.

“Metaverse platforms will even monitor manual reach, assessing when users will grab objects (both real and virtual), and tracking how long they will hold the objects to investigate. This will be especially invasive in the augmented metaverse, in which user gaze, gait, and reach will be monitored in the real world; for example, while shopping in augmented physical stores,” it said in a consultation paper.

Pushing for an appropriate regulatory framework, the regulator said that the challenges that we currently have in online applications, such as snooping, data breaches, harassment, and hate speech, are likely to be amplified going forward, with increased digitisation and online activities.

‘Online predators’
“If appropriate and timely steps are not taken today for forging trust and safety for the digital spaces where we live, work and play, the next generation may inherit a digital world polluted by predators, hate speech and mistrust. Hence, it is important that the regulators across the world get on board sooner and put in place necessary guidance or frameworks fit for metaverse,” said the regulator. The Hindu BusinessLine

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