The metaverse is a technology that was born out of science fiction. It promises to bring some unique ideas into the world. The metaverse has proven valuable through successful campaigns in several sectors, from fashion to real estate.
The metaverse, however, is not a utopia. Metaverse safety and crime concerns have brought major industry players under fire. The Wild West is what the metaverse looks like at the moment. There needs to be more regulation in place at the moment. This has led to inconsistent user expectations and experiences, particularly around security and privacy.
According to a Sprout study of 300 marketers responsible for their brands’ social media strategy, 64% cite privacy, data, and brand safety concerns in the metaverse. Leaders must identify and address metaverse threats if they want to scale up their metaverse strategy.
Brands are at risk of metaverse dangers.
Metaverse dangers, like the promise of the metaverse, are part of the speculation, but there is legitimate concern about the dark side.
Metaverse issues include spreading false information, hate speech, and promoting hate. We must confront unprecedented technical matters, regulation, education, and investment to address these dangers. Brands must recognize the issue, especially with metaverse investments expected to surpass 120 billion dollars by early 2022 — more than twice as much as in 2021.
There are dangers that brands should be aware of when they join the metaverse.
Metaverse privacy concerns
Privacy is, without a doubt, one of the greatest metaverse threats. Metaverse is heavily reliant on Web3 and other emerging technologies, which will increase the range and amount of personal data that can be exploited. The more personal data a person posts online, the larger their digital footprint. This increases the risk of cyber threats.
Metaverse will collect traditional personal data such as names and addresses, but also new information, including voice recordings and biometrics. These types of identifying data are a goldmine for marketers, third-party data providers, and criminals. They can use the information to collect, abuse, and monetize it.
Metaverse data includes location, sensor, social, physiological, and physiologic data. Extending reality (XR), for example, can record the user’s facial characteristics, blinks, and movements, as well as their surroundings and metaverse activities.
What can you do?
Data privacy advocates push companies to disclose their data collection practices, whether due to a law requirement or a desire for transparency. Leaders will have to define what data they store and collect and how to protect it. This is the same for any platform that collects data from its audience. The leaders will also have to think about the legalities. This is a bit of a Wild West since there must be a clear definition of personal data in the metaverse.
Metaverse Security Concerns
Metaverse faces the same cyberrisks as modern organizations. However, hackers can also exploit new vulnerabilities. Hackers could access bank information, personal messages, avatars, NFTs, and other digital assets by hacking into accounts.
Security concerns are exacerbated by anonymity, a significant problem for industry leaders.
A Tidio report revealed that for many people, the appeal of the Metaverse is to create an alias that goes beyond the physical world. Anonymity can also be used to perpetrate online scams or abusive behavior. (We’re looking at YOU, a troller with no profile picture!). Metaverse identities can be hacked, spoofed, or stolen to steal sensitive data. If this problem is not addressed, the metaverse may become more prevalent.
Biometric data protects a user’s digital identity during account creation or log-in. For example, facial and fingerprint recognition will be the default logging method in the metaverse.
What can you do?
Leaders must determine if their organization is equipped with the necessary tools to detect malicious code in metaverse projects and to contain it. Also, they need to define how incident response in the metaverse looks. What would it look like if there was a breach? What would be the brand’s response and communication?
Leaders must understand and create collaboration frameworks to efficiently execute incident response because answers to these questions require support inside and outside metaverse platforms.
The ideal metaverse would seamlessly converge the physical and virtual worlds. Even major tech companies need help overcoming some obstacles that prevent an inclusive experience.
How will users with disabilities and neurodivergent disorders interact with the metaverse? How can metaverse creators counter bias artificial intelligence and algorithms? These issues could lead to more discrimination and inequity if not addressed.
Both brands and users must consider affordability. Metaverse devices such as AR and VR headsets, haptic bodywear, and other metaverse technologies can be costly for users. You can only take part if you can afford it. Cost is a significant concern for tech companies and brands regarding blockchain and AI, particularly when trying to prove ROI.
What can you do?
Brands looking to create an inclusive metaverse activation can benefit from physical tactics. Our survey found that both marketers (72%) and consumers (60%) believe brands will continue to combine real-life experiences with digital ones in 2023. ).