Facebook’s rebranding to Meta goes far beyond the owners’ desire to evade lawsuits. It seems that the online advertising empire has decided to create a new virtual reality in which the world will dive. What this universe will become can be guessed from the facts prior to the name change. Mark Zuckerberg insists that his goal is noble and altruistic: to make digital reality accessible, popular and comfortable. And now Meta has a clear plan to bring this idea to life. Several steps have been taken to make the meta-universe possible.
Acquisition of Oculus Rift
Facebook acquired the VR company in 2014 for $2.3 billion. With $85 billion in annual ad revenue, that’s not a big deal for a social network.
Oculus specialized in making headsets for gamers, but Zuckerberg told a press conference after signing the contract that his plans went much further. In the future, he plans to use Oculus products to create a “new social interaction platform“. It will give a sense of presence in virtual reality and new opportunities for entertainment, learning, communication with other people remotely.
Ray-Ban Stories: Facebook on the face
At the beginning of September 2021, Facebook introduced the world to a new product, Ray-Ban smart glasses, which allow you to take photos, videos, receive calls and communicate with friends in video format. They have integrated 5 megapixel cameras, headphones, microphone and an integrated image capture LED. This miracle device understands voice commands and suppresses background noise when receiving a call.
The glasses are compatible with the Facebook View app, so you can live stream to your followers, as well as easily import all content on any iOS or Android device to Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and Viber.
This is the second step towards building the infrastructure of the Zuckerberg metamatrix.
Will the new reality be augmented or transformed?
We are sure that the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s new project is about massive data collection, not about the effect of presence and exciting games as advertised on the Tech @ Facebook page.
The devices that Facebook-Meta brings to market not only collect information about the user, but also constantly scan the outside world. They use outward facing cameras to track and map their surroundings. And this is the main ethical question of Zuckerberg’s meta-universe.
Prior to the release of the latest version of the VR device, company executives argued that they did not store geolocation data and 3D images from users’ cameras on their servers. But now, Facebook speakers are ignoring direct questions on this topic or avoiding answering them.
What data can Meta servers store?
We can assume that users who have become part of Zuckerberg’s metamatrix, unknowingly, will be transferred to the database: fingerprints and retinas, geolocation data, telephone and bank card numbers, and contacts from ‘friends.
In addition, you will merge neural network algorithms into the network: your tastes, interests and preferences. The system will remember your gestures, facial expressions and eye movements. Anyone can be identified by such marks anywhere in the world. A glued mustache, wig and glasses will not help you.
Selling personal information to target ads is frustrating, but not fatal
Now it is worth fearing that data control will fall on the servers of security services and intelligence agencies. And that the “meta-universeis just a trial run of a new mass data collection technology.
All in all, we just laid out the 4 steps towards building the Metamatrix infrastructure Zuckerberg. However, it’s no wonder US regulators are putting unprecedented pressure on the social network. But whether or not this is a distraction tactic, even if the project, as we have said, actually predates the platform’s more recent troubles, these are above all questions of governance, of privacy and personal data that will arise. But also the toxicity that is blamed on the Facebook ecosystem.
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