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Facebook whistleblower takes jibe at Meta’s Metaverse version

Frances Haugen, a well-known Facebook whistleblower, raised concerns about Meta's handling of privacy and very sensitive material.

In a recent interview, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen took aim at Meta, claiming that their version of the Metaverse would simply replicate “all the harms” of Facebook’s previous blunders.

Haugen told Politico in an interview:

“They’ve made very grandiose promises about how there’s safety-by-design in the Metaverse. But if they don’t commit to transparency and access and other accountability measures, I can imagine just seeing a repeat of all the harms you currently see on Facebook.”

Haugen disclosed a bunch of internal and confidential Facebook papers to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Wall Street Journal in 2021. She stated that her time working for Meta (previously known as Facebook) had left her concerned about privacy guidelines. The guidelines allow the corporation to collect data on every element of users’ activities in the Metaverse. 

Haugen remarked:

“I’m super concerned about how many sensors are involved. When we do the Metaverse, we have to put lots more microphones from Facebook and lots more other kinds of sensors into our homes” 

She added:

“You don’t really have a choice now on whether or not you want Facebook spying on you at home. We just have to trust the company to do the right thing.”

Haugen isn’t the only one who is worried. According to a recent poll, 70% of users do not trust Meta to protect their privacy appropriately.

Andy Yen, CEO of encrypted email provider ProtonMail, is likewise concerned about big tech giants like Meta. In an interview last week, he stated that his own firm, Proton, would only be able to exist because of the goodwill of IT giants.

He stated that tech giants can remove them from the Internet with zero legal or financial repercussions whenever they want.

Yen has previously expressed his fears about Big Tech gaining control of the Metaverse, telling Newsweek last year that Meta was setting a new infrastructure in order to control everything. They have control over the gadgets, they have VR headsets, and you are now in their world, on their devices, on their platform.

Yen stated that, given their track record, he does not feel we should trust Meta with such power and that assurances about privacy in the Metaverse are meaningless unless the company’s commercial model changes.

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Vaishali Goel
Vaishali Goel
Technology enthusiast, explorer and academic scholar. Currently exploring the crypto world. Join me in my journey to see how crypto, NFT and Metaverse will change the world.
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