Image courtesy of: Oculus
When it was first announced that Facebook was acquiring Oculus for $2 billion two years ago, it initially sparked a knee-jerk reaction within the VR community that raised some privacy and data mining concerns. Since then, Oculus and Facebook have made a conscious effort to ease and dismiss those fears, however, now with the Oculus Rift officially released to the masses it appears some of those privacy concerns have resurfaced.
According to a report last week by UploadVR, after a careful reading of the Terms and Conditions, it was discovered that upon agreeing to the policy, it will give Oculus and Facebook the right to collect data information based on how you use the Rift, and the way you interact with various VR experiences for the use of marketing purposes. Obviously, this has placed the company under heavy scrutiny.
In a statement responding to the criticism, Oculus attempted to clarify its policy about the data that is collected, and how it will be used.
Oculus further noted that, while Facebook owns it and helps to run some of its services, they are not sharing the information that is collected…at least for now. “We don’t have advertising yet and Facebook is not using Oculus data for advertising—though these are things we may consider in the future.”
It should be fair to assume that Oculus and Facebook both have the right intentions with how they intend on utilizing the data collected to help improve their services and innovate in new ways to create better virtual reality experiences on the platform that is still very much in its early stages. However, for many people, the question remains, how is our personal data going to be further used in the future? It’s this uncertainty amongst the general public that is a bit unsettling. Hopefully, there will be enough transparency that helps put this issue to rest.