Crimes in the metaverse are not always purely virtual. They can have repercussions on real life, especially in this time when the law remains silent on this subject.
Crimes in the metaverse will potentially be numerous. As society lives more and more in this virtual world, criminals will find ways to disrupt it. On the other hand, one can also think that some will become more negligent since there are acts that will not have a direct effect in real life.
However, crimes in the metaverse can cause other troubles in the society real. We know that the law is not there yet. So, we decided to dedicate a few lines to shed some light on this subject.
The metaverse, an increasingly complex universe
Facebook becomes Meta. It’s not just a name change, it’s more of a migration towards a more connected world dynamic : the metaverse. The latter is becoming more and more the center of all activities, commercial or not.
Businesses and individuals are developing a new way of life, that of connecting in a virtual world where everything can be found. On the one hand, firms present products for sale in the metaverse. On the other hand, individuals buy them to obtain them. This implies that this virtual universe becomes more and more complex.
Just log in to meet your virtual friends. Only, the metaverse is a world copied from our real world. Which means you can’t always avoid people you don’t want to meet. Certainly, Meta remains ambitious on this by wanting to reassure its members that they can block the access of certain people to their world. But it is simply impossible.
Therefore, this complexity will be a lever for the crime. In other words, crimes in the metaverse can take over. Today, cookies can be used to spy on how we behave on the Internet. Which means that, in the metaverse, no one will have a private life.
Crimes in the Metaverse
As discussed earlier, the metaverse is a way for criminals to violate privacy, both for businesses and individuals. piracy, the data leaks companies are risks to run with the development of the metaverse. Hackers will soon find new ways to hack into the security system of companies via the metaverse.
Hacking and cyber intrusions
Such a weak security system will increase the rate of cyber intrusion and data leaks despite knowing how to invest in the metaverse. The extorted information will be sold to the highest bidders. And the buyers can be the competitors or other people who use them for a criminal purpose. This will also affect everyone’s privacy in the event that their personal data is stolen.
Therefore, the harassment, deception and violence are to be feared along with other crimes in the metaverse. We must not forget that from the first days of the metaverse, we have already seen sexual assaults. But we can debate on this subject because an attack occurring in the metaverse cannot directly affect real life. However, its effects can be harmful.
Thefts and extortion
Now let’s talk about thefts and piracy to extort money. Imagine a person who has their digital wallet and all their virtual money stolen. Not only can he no longer buy items in the metaverse, but he also won’t be able to trust the security system.
In addition, you can be harassed via your avatar by forcing you to pay such and such an amount, otherwise your avatar will suffer attacks. Today, we already live with deepface and deepvoice. These are forms of scams that are used by hackers to imitate your behavior. In the mataverse, we can also find his avatar (a fake) walking around with all our habits.
Thinking about it, it must be said that crimes can also reach the metaverse without being able to do anything about it.
Can crimes in the metaverse affect real life?
If you crash into a car in the metaverse, it’s impossible to imagine bodily damage. It is already a positive thing. However, we must repair the material damage, the vehicles in this case. Which involves spending (albeit with digital money).
If you are a victim of piracy, it is undeniable that your real life is affected. Criminals can use stolen information to blackmail or harass you. It’s easier to find yourself in the real world with your data in the metaverse.
The same is true if your avatar has lost a sum. You must exchange your real money into digital money in order to continue enjoying the virtual world and its offers. Which leads us to conclude that real life and life in the metaverse are interdependent.
Thus, crimes in the metaverse will undoubtedly have harm about our real life. If your avatar has suffered attacks in the virtual world, it is likely that the attackers are trying to find you for real to try to do the same.
For businesses, the metaverse is like a portal for all kinds of piracy, espionage, and information theft. There is nothing worse than information theft to bring down a firm.
What about laws in the eyes of the metaverse?
Currently, the giants of Silicon Valley are rushing into the metaverse, without thinking too much about the jurisdictional aspect of this world. This creates a number of problems such as legislation and legal vacuum.
Crimes in the metaverse, what lawmakers say
Privacy is a critical issue for legislators. It seems however contradictory to the fact that we are advancing more and more in a connected world that is the metaverse. Indeed, we have legislated laws from another century when technology was just an accessory to society. Justice is seen then in thedead end when it comes to deciding on a matter that involves technology.
That’s why crimes in the metaverse can stay unpunished as legislation fails to keep pace. The data leaks recorded in recent years are closely linked to the rise of social media. Not to mention the harassment and personal attacks made via social networks.
Certainly, Meta has opted for a prohibition technique through the reporting of false information or harassment. But is this enough to limit crimes? It should be kept in mind that these companies aim above all to make a profit than to protect the privacy of their users. This vision is also valid for the metaverse.
Can we talk about a legal void?
Since the legislation remains mute, the problem of legal vacuum is then evoked. If we bring a case to court that involves crimes in the metaverse, it would be difficult to decide. How many magistrates spend their time in the metaverse? How many of them plan to investigate a case of this kind without really knowing what this virtual world is?
On the other hand, it is important to implement virtual courses (meta course) in the metaverse. But still it is necessary to consider adopting new laws in conformity with this universe and sanctions which are proportional to it. Such a project does not seem to be in the priorities of the designers of the metaverse. For now, we have to be content to be very careful, whether as an individual or as an organization.
Another void appears in terms of border between crimes in the metaverse and real crimes. When it comes to information leaks, these can happen both in the real world and in the metaverse. However, the repercussions can prove to be more serious in real life although the origin is the virtual world.
If the hacker resides in a country other than that of the victim, is it possible that the law can do anything about it? Can international laws intervene in this case? Only time will tell what will become of this complex universe.
Crimes in the metaverse may increase as it attracts more and more users. Some may cause damage in real life, some may not. Either way, the metaverse is getting more and more complex. Which will increase the crime rate in this virtual world.
Moreover, the law remains silent in the face of this progressive change. Legislators are still a long way from adopting legislative and regulatory texts aimed at serving as guidelines for this. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the various positive points of the metaverse, the connection with an open world, without having to move, for example. Thus, it is more prudent to turn to legislation and the adoption of standards to regulate access to activities in the metaverse.