Meta and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are holding a meeting to discuss how Oculus’ VR business complies with the regulator’s child-friendly guidelines.
Its purpose is to ensure that children can access online services that are appropriate for their needs.An under-18s sexting app was found to be harassing recently by a campaign group. According to Meta, the code will be implemented with the ICO soon.
Benefits and drawbacks of VR:
The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) recently raised the issue of child safety in virtual reality. VRChat, a popular third-party application, was examined by the campaign group.
You can download the app from the app store of the VR headset Oculus. It works on a number of platforms.
According to CCDH’s research, under-18s were:
- Content containing graphic sexual imagery
- Abuse, bullying, and sexual harassment among users
- Groomed to repeat racist slurs and extremist talking points
Users can converse in virtual worlds created with the VRChat app.
An investigation was conducted at a user-built environment that was themed as a sex club, yet stated to be suitable for children aged 13+.
Among the community guidelines for VRChat, harassment, pornography and nudity are prohibited. Also “hate speech, including language, symbols, and actions”.
A few statements:
The ICO said:
- “We are planning further discussions with Meta on its children’s privacy and data protection by design approaches to Oculus products and virtual reality services.”
Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He expressed concerns about the safety of virtual environments.
- “Children can evidently be exposed to harmful and inappropriate content when using Oculus”, he wrote.
- “and this raises substantive questions about whether Meta has met its regulatory requirements in the children’s code.”
In a statement, Meta said:
- “We’re working to implement the standards within the Age Appropriate Design Code (children’s code), in consultation with the ICO.
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