The metaverse has been described as the evolution of the internet. Or rather as an internet within the internet itself. It is a virtual space that is intertwined with physical reality and that is even capable of merging so that you can “live your life” from a computer. But are we ready? We tell you about five metaverse risks that we could face in the future.
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Although it is an initiative that is still under development, with Facebook –or Meta– at the forefront, it is most likely that its base is based on the technology associated with virtual reality, the effects of which have already been studied. A report warns that it presents two major challenges: for people’s physical and mental health and for data protection and computer security.
Risks to people
Because these are relatively new technologies, there are no long-term studies on the physical and mental implications of this technology. However, there are numerous studies that describe the cybersickness, dizziness and discomfort caused by prolonged use of screens or virtual reality items.
- Physical damages: people who use immersive technologies – such as virtual reality goggles – can become disoriented in the real world environment and cause injury. They may even get used to taking actions that have no consequences in the metaverse, such as jumping off the second floor or walking into traffic, thus making them insensitive to real-world hazards.
- Mental health: Because these are new technologies, there are no long-term studies on their physical and mental impacts. Although side effects vary between people, immersive games can lead to depression, isolation, lonely behavior, and even suicide and violence.
- Digital consent– There are no laws or legal jurisdiction in the metaverse, as there are no physical boundaries or boundaries. For the same reason, there is no responsibility for actions, although there is progress in the regulation of social networks.
Due to its digital nature, actions in a scenario like a metaverse translate into personal, biometric, financial, and even emotional data, thus raising concerns about its security, confidentiality, and intellectual property as well.
- Data and cybersecurity: the metaverse will increase the number of places that can be attacked. Although the underlying systems will remain the targets for stealing data, this could change as the platforms become more popular.
- Identity: When avatars are used as a form of identification, the person and personal data become susceptible to being copied, stolen, erased or manipulated. Although biometric identification could be a solution, spoofing is another risk.