Data privacy practices must protect users of immersive experiences, Forrester reports

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Technology

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At Forrester’s Security and Risk Summit today, the research company discussed how the demand and the collection of an individual’s data will evolve as digital experiences such as the metaverse become more immersive and intelligent.

Immersive platforms are already driving companies’ investments, changing customer expectations and shaping new engagement models. Yet, while many companies have plans to utilize personal data, only a few know how to keep it safe. 

Forrester explained that fundamental pillars such as safeguarding an individual’s data, trusted identities and attributes will play a key role in achieving the promise of immersive digital experiences of the future.

An interactive future

Enza Iannopollo, principal analyst at Forrester, said that the metaverse market is expected to be worth $800B, yet the environment remains relatively understudied from a security and privacy standpoint. 

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“With the onset of digital avatars, users will be able to interact and express themselves more efficiently through audio and text,” said Iannopollo. “But the aspect of privacy within these immersive platforms is concerningly complex and still a challenge for many. Therefore it is vital to establish privacy practices and safeguard the users.” 

Iannopollo said that developments within the metaverse domain must follow the evolutionary path of digital experiences to develop concrete privacy practices. 

“Existing privacy rules show no enforcement on virtual experiences,” she said. “We found that although privacy concerns many users, it is yet to be completely understood and generalized. Hence, it is important for developers and organizations not to take the human-centric development approach for granted.”

Data privacy concerns loom large

Iannopollo explained that while virtual and augmented reality can create next-gen experiences for sectors such as healthcare, education and retail, it can also enable psychological and emotional manipulation of its users at an unimaginable level. 

A recent study by Cornell University demonstrated how virtual …

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