The most important privacy and security trends in XR in 2022

The extended reality scene is developing at an astonishing rate. By 2024, some studies suggest that this diverse space could be valuable 300 billion dollars. Not only are consumers who love virtual reality games accelerating the growth of XR, but businesses and organizations as well.

Countless brands are now embracing extended reality as a tool for productivity, collaboration, and innovation. But as the demand for this technology continues to expand, organizations need to make sure they have the right security and privacy strategies in place.

If you’re chasing a future in the XR, there are a few common topics worth exploring when maintaining safety and compliance in this new world. Let’s take a look at some of the key privacy and security trends you need to know.

1. Realistic avatars and digital identity

Inspired by the growing interest inmetaverse“Realistic avatars have become a popular way for users to embed digital copies of themselves in the virtual world. The more detailed our avatars are, the easier it is to engage with colleagues and contacts from all over the world in the XR environment. Many of the most innovative tools can even capture facial expressions during our cooperation.

While photorealistic avatars are excellent for enhancing bonding and bringing people together in digital environments, they are also major security concerns. As AI systems become more powerful, there is a possibility that criminals will create “fake” versions of real people based on avatars or images they see online. These can be used to access sensitive data.

At the same time, tools used to create realistic avatars, such as cameras and smart sensors, can provide criminals with the tools they need to “steal” a person’s identity when a data leak occurs. Companies will need to ensure that the digital identities they benefit from in XR are well protected from potential attacks.

2. Ethics and Privacy Metaverse

And the growing adoption of the XR paves the way for the future Metaverse Innovations. We’re already seeing countless companies experimenting with what their version of the “metaverse” might look like to serve customers, events, and even “metawork”.

However, opening up a new digital world filled with unique interactions for users is bound to come with some security and privacy issues. Already, the creators of the Metaverse are discussing the policies and guidelines needed to keep the Metaverse safe for everyone. Talks are underway about how companies secure metaverse transactions, how much control people have over changing who or how they look online, and how digital IP is protected.

Companies embracing XR technology with a focus on the future of metaverse interactions will need to think carefully about how to make this new digital landscape as secure as possible. This will not only mean securing the metaverse environment, but having discussions about ethics, inclusion, and privacy in an immersive space.

3. Headphones and devices are safe

Building a secure environment in XR doesn’t just mean thinking about data traffic on the Internet, or how software collects and uses information. Companies also need to think about the security standards that are built into the devices they use.

For example, many virtual reality headsets and gadgets for immersion in MRI and augmented reality are becoming increasingly impressive with the use of new monitors, scanners, and trackers. However, as these tools continue to collect more information, companies will need to be more careful about how data is transmitted to the Internet, stored, and used.

For example, collecting information from a set of smart augmented reality glasses with the ability to scan a physical location in real time could be excellent for enhancing collaboration and productivity. However, it can also give criminals a behind-the-scenes look at the workplace if they are able to take advantage of video streaming. Information collected from eye tracking and motion sensors can provide malicious actors with the biometric details they need to access sensitive data.

All the while, companies need to make sure they invest in headphones that users use safely. This means looking at everything from the ergonomics, to how to keep users aware of their surroundings when immersed in different realities.

4. Eye and hand tracking

Eye, hand, gesture and movement tracking is becoming increasingly common in the XR space. As mentioned above, the developers are implementing these new sensor-based technologies along with artificial intelligence to make XR experiences more immersive. If used correctly, these tools can give users more control over virtual assets and content.

However, there are risks of collecting too much information from any XR user. Not only do companies need to think about how they store that data (either on the device or in the cloud), but they also need to think about the implications of capturing so much data. While obtaining information about a user’s gaze or movements can provide useful insights into their behavior, it also raises difficult questions about protecting privacy and human rights.

Companies will need to ensure that “tracking” tools implemented in their XR environments do not conflict with regulations and restrictions imposed by concepts such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Every XR app should include an ethical discussion about how much data should be tracked, captured, and stored.

5. NFTs and IP protection

Finally, as more companies enter the world of XR, it will be important to carefully consider the cybersecurity policies they use to keep their virtual and digital data safe. The Metaverse and XR environment will open a new door to collaboration and productivity in a virtual space, allowing teams to create new layouts and products in an immersive environment.

However, if the wrong people gain access to these virtual assets, it can lead to major problems for companies from an intellectual property perspective. Furthermore, as companies begin deploying their own virtual assets, NFTs, and creations into the metaverse, they will need to consider how to protect these assets from theft or copying.

Before XR environments really become mainstream, business leaders will need to make sure that the right systems are in place to protect anything they create and use in the virtual world. This will become an even more important conversation as the metaverse evolves.

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