Facebook data concerns spread to Oculus and VR

Facebook is currently facing difficult questions about how it handles user information, but most of the discussion has focused on the social network itself. Facebook owns many other applications and services, including the Oculus virtual reality platform, which (like all VR platforms) collects incredibly detailed information about where users are watching and how they are moving. VR hearing aids have a clear potential for surveillance and data collection, and Facebook has a poor record of protecting privacy. So, what exactly is the link between Oculus and Facebook in regards to the user's privacy?

A virtual reality platform like Oculus offers many data points that could become a detailed user profile. Facebook already records a "heat map" of the viewer's data for 360-degree videos, for example, marking what parts of a video people find most interesting. If you decided to crawl VR users at a more detailed level, you could do something like track general movement patterns with manual drivers, and then guess if someone is sick or tired on a particular day. Oculus imagines people using their headphones the same way they use phones and computers today, which would allow them to track all kinds of private communications.

The Oculus privacy policy has a general clause that allows you to share and receive information from Facebook and Facebook services. So far, the company claims that it exercises this option in very limited ways, and none of them involves giving data to Facebook advertisers. "Oculus does not share the data of people with Facebook for third-party advertising," says a spokesperson The Verge .