Originally posted at Fortune by Jonathan Vanian
Mark Zuckerberg’s pursuit of the metaverse, the reason behind Facebook’s rebranding as Meta, raises significant questions about data privacy in the next frontier of tech.
Despite Facebook’s repeated data lapses over the years, Zuckerberg said during his company’s Connect event on Thursday that he’s taking a thoughtful approach to privacy as he attempts to build the immersive, virtual world for users known as the metaverse.
“Interoperability, open standards, privacy, and safety need to be built into the metaverse from day one,” Zuckerberg said. “And with all the novel technologies that are being developed, everyone who’s building for the metaverse should be focused on building responsibly from the beginning.”
Facebook is no stranger to controversy when it comes to data privacy. Since its founding in 2004, the company has made numerous data blunders, the most high-profile being the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 in which a rogue researcher improperly accessed user data and then sold it to a political consulting firm.
In a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the matter, Facebook paid $5 billion and promised to improve user data privacy. In 2020, Facebook paid another $550 million to settle a privacy lawsuit involving allegations that the company violated an Illinois state law that requires companies to get permission from users to store their biometric data, which include data that links faces to individual identities…
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