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Data privacy is already a challenge–and the metaverse could make it worse

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Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The metaverse is more than the latest obsession of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It’s a three-dimensional world of virtual and augmented reality that we will be exploring—via our digital avatars—over the next decade.bAmid the unlimited possibilities of what may be coming, consider this reality. If our privacy is already under siege in the two-dimensional internet, imagine how vulnerable we may be in 3D?

“It’s going to aggravate the preexisting privacy issues that we’re not currently dealing with very well,” says Caglar Yildirim, an assistant teaching professor and director of the Mixed Reality research group at Northeastern. “And then we’ll have to deal with the more dire consequences of not paying enough attention to those issues.”

It’s bad enough that cookies track our online movements today; in the future, our personal health data may be chronicled by virtual reality headsets. How will financial transactions be managed? If we’re purchasing virtual real estate, how can we avoid being suckered into buying a digital version of the Brooklyn Bridge? 

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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