A growing number of organizations are developing “immersive technologies,” a collection of hardware and software products that substitute, enhance, or alter users’ individual, physical-world experiences. These emerging technologies—which include virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and some brain-computer interfaces (BCIs)—have the potential to transform entertainment, education, healthcare, advertising, and other business sectors. However, they also raise important privacy and data protection questions.
Immersive technologies are powered by numerous sensors, large volumes and varieties of data, and various algorithms and automated systems. Many immersive technologies must collect and use intimate, sensitive data about users and their environments in order to function. Without safeguards, this data could be used to manipulate, discriminate against, and make adverse decisions about both users and bystanders. FPF works with experts from industry, academia, and civil society to identify the privacy and data protection risks in this nascent field, analyze how these technologies are implicated by existing and emerging regulations, and develop best practices and policy recommendations.
Old Laws & New Tech: As Courts Wrestle with Tough Questions under US Biometric Laws, Immersive Tech Raises New Challenges
Extended reality (XR) technologies often rely on users’ body-based data, particularly information about their eyes, hands, and body position, to create realistic, interactive experiences. However, data derived from individuals’ bodies can pose serious privacy and data protection risks for people. It can also create substantial liability risks for organizations, given the growing volume of lawsuits […]
By Jeremy Greenberg, [email protected] and Katelyn Ringrose [email protected]. Key FPF-curated background resources – policy & regulatory documents, academic papers, and technical analyses regarding brain-computer interfaces are available here. Recently, Elon Musk livestreamed an update for Neuralink—his startup centered around creating brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). BCIs are an umbrella term for devices that detect, amplify, and translate […]