Technology

Ex-Facebook employee warns that Metaverse could allow the company to ‘spy on you at home’

One of Meta’s most prominent critics has targeted the Metaverse, a virtual world being built by the company where users work, socialize, and play.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee who has repeatedly spoken out against her former employer, says she worries about how Meta will handle people’s sensitive information.

Mark Zuckerberg pushes his company Meta to build a Metaverse

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Mark Zuckerberg pushes his company Meta to build a MetaverseCredit: AP

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, announced plans to create a metaverse in a glittering hour-long video last year.

It’s a 3D space accessible with a virtual reality headset. A number of other metaverses are being developed by competing companies.

“[Meta] made very grandiose promises about how there is safety-by-design in the Metaverse,” Haugen said Politico on Tuesday.

“But if they don’t commit to transparency and access and other accountabilities, I imagine all the harm you’re seeing on Facebook right now will be repeated.”

In 2021, Haugen leaked thousands of Facebook internal documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Wall Street Journal.

Among other things, she claimed that Facebook’s newsfeed promotes hate speech to increase profit.

She also leaked internal Facebook research that appears to show the company knew Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is harmful to children.

However, Haugen’s main concern with the Metaverse is the additional data about users it will make available to Meta.

The company has been plagued by a number of data scandals over the years, including lax handling of user data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“I’m very concerned about how many sensors are involved,” said Haugen, a former data scientist at Facebook.

“If we do the Metaverse, we need to add a lot more mics from Facebook; many more other types of sensors in our homes.

“You don’t really have a choice now whether you want Facebook to spy on you at home or not. We just have to trust that the company is doing the right thing.”

The Metaverse is a loosely defined virtual realm composed of connected 3D virtual worlds in which people can work, play, or conduct business.

Visitors to the Social Spaces can purchase goods and services such as B. Buying real estate, similar to buying in the real world.

And while its creators are touting the technology as the next step in the evolution of the Internet, experts have warned it poses “terrifying dangers.” must be monitored by the police.

Last year, Dr. David Reid, Professor of AI and Spatial Computing at Liverpool Hope University, also raised concerns about the vast amount of data being collected in the metaverse.

He said, “The Metaverse has tremendous implications – it brings fantastic benefits and terrifying dangers.

“The ultimate goal isn’t just virtual reality or augmented reality, it’s mixed reality (MR). It’s about merging the digital and real worlds. Ultimately, this mix can be so good and so ubiquitous that the virtual and the real blend together indistinguishably.

“And the market for it is huge. Whoever controls it will essentially be in control of your entire reality.”

He added that prototype systems track the movement of your face, eyes, body and hands while collecting data with sophisticated cameras. Some even read your brain waves and speech.

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Professor Reid said: “The data this will generate will be enormous… and extremely valuable.

“And so we need a system to monitor that. No single company should ever be in control – it’s just too important for that.”

Facebook changed its name to Meta last year to reflect its Metaverse ambitions

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Facebook changed its name to Meta last year to reflect its Metaverse ambitionsPhoto credit: AFP
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8649796/mark-zuckerberg-banish-metaverse-facebook-employee/ Ex-Facebook employee warns that Metaverse could allow the company to ‘spy on you at home’

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