UK watchdog begs Meta over child safety in virtual reality

Meta is facing more scrutiny over its approach to child safety. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said: Watchman In a statement, it was planning to have “further discussions” with Meta about the Quest 2 VR headset’s compliance with a recently created Children’s Act that prioritizes the “best interests” of young users. The watchdog wants to determine if the Meta headset and virtual reality services are doing enough to protect children’s privacy and data.

Baroness Biban Kidron, who developed the code, worried that the Meta platform was making it too easy for kids to sign in and risking abuse, harassment, and explicit content. Meta may require a Facebook account (so the user is at least 13 years old), but that doesn’t mean that it implements the age checks required in the code. Kidron said kids can jump into potentially dangerous VR chat rooms just by “checking the box” to say they’re old enough.

A Mita spokesperson said Watchman The internet giant was “committed” to respecting the Children’s Code, and was “confident” that its VR hardware met the code’s requirements. The actress stressed that the terms of service do not allow children under 13 to use the products, but did not address the concerns, as it was too easy for children to ignore the policy. The company has already promised a $50 million program to make sure its metaverse development complies with laws and regulations.

The UK can issue a wide range of penalties if the ICO finds that Meta is violating the code. While officials may do more than issue a warning, they can also fine Meta either a fixed amount of up to £17.5 million (about $23.8 million) or up to 4 per cent of its global sales – more than $10 billion. There is at least some pressure on Meta to bolster children’s safety in VR, if only to protect the company’s finances.

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