Metaverse is here, and we cannot deny it. Despite the many benefits, consumers’ basic rights in immersive settings must be protected.
In the coming years, more consumers will use virtual and augmented reality. The shift into the metaverse could expand what it means to be a human today. It might be the best freedom experience or corporate dictatorship according to which way the scale sways.
Because metaverse hosting services can track and shape user behavior, metaverse platforms (virtual and augmented) will track users’ movements, actions, acquaintances, and gaze duration. These systems monitor vitals, posture, gait, facial expressions, and vocal tones.
It’s fair to be apprehensive about being continually monitored. Still, the risks increase considerably when we consider that in the near future, targeted advertising in the metaverse will evolve from traditional media to completely immersive, real-world-like experiences.
Policymakers should defend “immersive rights” from metaverse platforms’ that show an authored influence. Let us get to know the basic 3 fundamental shields:
1. The Right To Feel Authentic Life Experiences
Most adults can recognize advertising online and offline. People can make decisions based on the material with appropriate skepticism and context (as paid message). Advertisers can evade our ability to contextualize messaging by gently modifying the metaverse and adding targeted commercial experiences that look valid and authorized.
Imagine a virtual or augmented reality street with an unknown automobile parked. You overhear the owner of a car you pass, shouting how much they love it. You don’t know it’s a marketing gimmick when you see and hear them talking about the car. Virtual representatives were chosen based on your profile and customized for optimum impact (from car color to gender, voice, and attire).
Covert advertising for a new car can also be used to convey political propaganda, misinformation, and lies. Protecting consumers requires regulating immersive methods like Virtual Product Placements and Virtual Spokespeople.
Legislation should compel constant immersion. To do this, promotional materials and staff should be clearly distinguishable in appearance and sound so that users may place them in the right environment. This prevents clients from mistaking a biased promotion for real.
2. The Right To Emotional Privacy
Facial expressions, voice tone, body language, and gestures are distinctly human. It works in combination with spoken language. Machine learning allows the software to recognize human emotions in real-time by analyzing facial expressions, speech tones, body language, and physiological data like pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure. This allows computers to connect with humans nonverbally, yet it could lead to high privacy violations.
Because computers can comprehend signals human senses overlook, they can determine emotional states. Heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure indicate sentiments the observer didn’t intend to convey. Micro-expressions, too brief or subtle for human perception, can be picked up by computers and reveal the observer’s genuine feelings even if they weren’t meant to be exhibited. Computers can use minute blood flow patterns in human faces to estimate an individual’s emotional state, exposing unintended feelings.
Customers shouldn’t be subjected to beyond-human emotional judgments. Physiological data and facial expressions should be banned entirely. Psychological research in advertising should be banned. As a consumer, none of us want to be singled out by an AI-powered sales representative that adapts its presentation based on my heart rate and breath rate.
3. The Right To Behavioral Privacy
Virtual and augmented reality simulations require movement, posture, gait, and line of sight tracking. This is a lot of info and can be used in real-term life. Long-term storage is unnecessary in such circumstances. Using recorded behavioral data, detailed user profiles can be created.
This information can predict people’s behavior in real-world scenarios using machine learning. Advertisers could leverage platforms’ predictive algorithms to influence users’ actions before they happen since these platforms can adjust settings for urges.
To prevent platforms from constructing behavioral profiles, regulators should limit the long-term storage of immersive data. Metaverse platforms shouldn’t be allowed to connect emotional data with behavioral data because this would allow them to alter what users do in immersive environments and how they feel.
Immersive Rights Are Vital
Metaverse is here, and we cannot deny it. Despite the many benefits, consumers’ basic rights in immersive settings must be protected. Virtual environments must respect basic rights. Everyone should believe what they’re experiencing and not be subject to indirect marketing. The metaverse may not be a secure place without fundamental regulation. Metaverse could be the greatest revolutionary shift in human interaction with information since the internet. We must take safety measures today and not wait till the last moment. If we wait too long, these issues may become embedded in important platforms and impossible to reverse.