US Senator Has Concerns About Oculus Rift Privacy

By | 7 months ago 

United States Senator Al Franken issues an open letter to the CEO of Oculus, requesting more information on how Oculus Rift users’ data is being stored and shared.

The first of the new wave of virtual reality peripherals has only just begun to arrive, and some aren’t happy with the way one of them is recording and sharing users’ information. Facebook’s Oculus Rift has received some flack from gamers and critics alike for its privacy policy, and now a politician is also voicing his concerns.

Senator Al Franken has issued a letter to the CEO of Oculus Rift, Brendan Iribe, requesting information on what exactly Oculus is recording and sharing from its users. Senator Franken chose to share the letter publicly in addition to sending it to Iribe. The letter details that Senator Franken is particularly concerned that the Oculus Rift’s privacy policy states that users’ locations, physical movements and dimensions are being recorded and that Oculus may share said information as it sees fit.

An Oculus official previously released a public statement that the company does not have plans at this point in time to share information with Facebook. However, the statement also indicated that the information could be used for advertising within Oculus Rift products or Facebook in the future. However, whether or not the device is using the recorded information for this purpose, it would seem that the safety of said information is Senator Franken’s major concern.

senator al franken

Senator Franken notes in his letter that the Oculus Rift’s privacy policy stipulates that the company can’t make any guarantees regarding the safety of the information that it records from its users. This is fairly understandable, since nearly every company with a digital presence has been the victim of hacking at this point. However, the Senator isn’t satisfied, and wants to know what steps Oculus is taking to protect that information, even if it’s not foolproof.

Data security has been a big concern lately, with everything from credit cards to social security numbers being stolen by hackers. While Senator Franken is particularly focused on the recently-released Oculus Rift, gamers may be understandably anxious about their privacy with any gaming platform or device, given that user data has been stolen by hackers on Steam, PlayStation, or the Xbox.

Oculus hasn’t openly responded to Senator Franken’s letter yet, and Senator Franken requested a response by May 13th, so it may be some time before these concerns are answered. It remains to be seen what their response will be, but no doubt Sony is taking notice of the widespread attention the Oculus Rift’s privacy policy has received. With any luck, the PlayStation VR‘s privacy policy will be clearer than the Rift’s and won’t share its data with outside companies.

Source: Engadget