Sunday, June 26, 2022

Facebook’s history makes Metaverse scandals a ‘for granted’

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That Meta has a scandal surrounding its Metaverse platforms is a “foregone conclusion,” predicts Proton CEO Andy Yen.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg has said an “embodied Internet” will be the future of the technology, but Mr Yen, whose company operates the encrypted email client Protonmail and ProtonVPN, said the endeavor could still fail.

“Things have come and gone in tech. You might remember Google Glass existed almost 10 years ago…before people realized how scary it was,” he said LatestPageNewswhich refers to Google’s augmented reality headset launched in 2013.

“It’s hard to stay at this stage, what’s the fad and what’s going to stay. The Metaverse is new and chic, but will it still be relevant in five years? I think it’s very early to really know if any of these trends will last, and even if they come back and say a decade, some trends are just coming too soon. Microsoft had a tablet in the late ’90s [but] it wasn’t the right time. It’s about ‘right time, right place’.”

The parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has been developing its virtual world for some time, building on the headsets it bought when it bought the Oculus – now rebranded Meta Quest. But Mr. Yen has said that the “surveillance capitalism” business models of companies like Google and Meta would not be tolerated in real life.

“If you take the Google analogy, it’s someone who follows you every day and records everything you say and every place you visit. In real life, we would never tolerate that,” he had previously said Wired.

“On the internet, we kind of tend to think it’s not there because it’s not visible. But the surveillance you don’t notice is usually far more insidious than the surveillance you do yourself.”

It’s possible that scandals on an embodied internet will cause more people to wake up to how much of their information is being monitored online.

“Given what we’ve seen from Facebook in their track record, they’re going to have some kind of scandal that’s probably going to blow something up on them, right? And get us attention. That’s probably a foregone conclusion. But I can’t say what it is,” Mr Yen told LatestPageNews.

Meta has already been forced to add “personal boundaries” that prevent avatars from coming into close contact with each other in its virtual reality platforms Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues.

It came after Nina Jane Patel, a psychotherapist who researches the metaverse, wrote a mean post about the “surreal nightmare” of “gang rape” in Horizon Venues.

At the time, Facebook said it was “committed to building” a safe experience and would “make further improvements as we learn more about how people interact in these spaces, particularly when it comes to helping people make things easy.” and reliable to report”.

While many companies have promoted the Metaverse, Mr. Yen also said Proton would take a more cautious approach. “It is very difficult for us with limited resources to make predictions in this area. We look for long-term, enduring trends. So we’re not jumping into wearables, we’re not jumping into the metaverse or those things until we see that. If you jump on every new fad, you’re forever chasing the next big thing,” he told LatestPageNews.

Meta isn’t the only company developing virtual and augmented reality technology. Apple’s alleged augmented reality headset could launch this year with “realityOS”; Google bought smart glasses company North in 2020 on the assumption that a Google Glass sequel could be in the works, and Snapchat thinks augmented reality glasses could become acceptable as early as 2029.

However, Mr. Yen is more skeptical. “I think there will always be a space for the real world,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine a world where everyone has the AR thing on and they’re just stuck there. I just don’t see it.”

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