The Future of Identity and Privacy in the Metaverse 2023
In today’s Web3TV interview, we’re talking with Shea Richburg, the Founder and COO of Future Wise Group and we’re going to discuss the future of identity and privacy in the metaverse and why it’s so important to the whole of humanity.
We’re going to go into more detail around what your personal identity and privacy looks like in the metaverse and how to protect yourself.
What Is Your Identity in the Metaverse?
I think the most simplistic answer is it’s your digital wallet. Your digital wallet is your new physical documentation in the metaverse while your avatar is your physical representation.
Is There Such A Thing As Privacy In The Digital World?
I don’t believe so because, honestly, I don’t think we have much privacy on the internet. So what can we expect in this digital, fully immersed world? We have people tracking us all the time and I think that’s going to be an issue in the metaverse of being tracked and having your data collected without transparency.
So I would hope there would be some type of privacy but I don’t think there will be a full scale level of privacy in this digital world.
How Does AI Being a Large Component Of The Metaverse Affect Privacy?
There are a lot of ramifications mixing AI with the metaverse. Number one is stolen identity, and we have people who are really stressed out about stalking issues.
When you have artificial intelligence knowing a bit too much about user to user interactions where information is shared about one another, there are lots of ramifications of people getting your data and you not understanding what their going to do with it.
For example, there’s a company out there that is able to track a lot of data through your eye movement, and they know information about you before you even do things. They then like to market to you, because they see what you are attracted to, what you’ve looked at and there’s really scary people collecting information about you before you even know about yourself.
What Are Your Recommendations For Maintaining Privacy and Security In The Metaverse?
There’s a lot we can do and I’ve written some down because I’m passionate about this.
Firstly, we need privacy policies that are clear and easy for everyone to understand, not overly wordy and tricky to people.
Secondly, we also need to know what rights we have in this Web 3.0 world we’re getting involved in. We need to know what rights we have and again people need to be transparent about the data that they’re collecting from us, what they’re using it for and provide an option for people to opt out having their data collected.
Thirdly, there really needs to be a lot of options provided to people involved in these spaces. I think there needs to be laws and regulations openly communicated to people. I think there needs to be some type of identity transparency so you know who you are talking and interacting with.
Lastly, we really need to keep minors safe in there right and we want to make sure there are kids only zones in the metaverse. We don’t want to have adults secretly engaging with our children.
Is Bullying An Issue In The Metaverse?
When we hear of bullying, we always assume this is with children and not adults, but I have to tell you, I had a guest on my podcast. Metaverse-ology and there was a gentleman and he said he’s in his fifties and was in some type of virtual lounge environment and somebody just came up to him and just ripped into him verbally. It was totally unprovoked and he said he was so stunned he couldn’t hit the exit button fast enough.
Unfortunately, people are also saying things explicitly in there and we don’t want this for adults or our children. So we really need to set some parameters and some new behavioral frameworks as to how we conduct ourselves in there.
What Is The Metaverse Intelligence Quotient You Have been Working On?
The Metaverse Intelligence Quotient is helping people develop the soft skills they need to deal with some of these issues in communicating in the metaverse.
It is something that I think we all need to conduct ourselves with in the metaverse and it’s based off of four pillars of awareness, inclusiveness, empathy and respect. If we can share all of those, I think our experiences in the metaverse will be just so much heightened into positivity.
I don’t think we can stop bullying because we have bullying right here in the real world, but if we have this new framework and starting with the children right, really talking to them about this new framework on how they interact with one another, I think we’ll see a lot less of that.
How Can The Metaverse and Web 3.0 Help Bring People Together?
I’ve talked to so many people and everybody says that the end goal is to bring everyone together in humanity through Web 3.0 and the development of it is to connect us. It’s to relate to people who aren’t from our area, who don’t have the same accent, but we can work in the same room together. We can learn together right. We can go to the same college in the metaverse.
I spoke to an artist and she created something called the Mars House and she said something that really stuck with me. She says she created that as a place full of zen and peace in positive energy, and so the metaverse people need to look at it as a place to escape to, something more positive. We don’t want to bring our stressors from the real world into this new space, so a lot of people have been creating spaces focussed on people getting along better.
Even Governments want to bring their residents together in a more positive manner in the metaverse.
How Can Individuals Best Protect Their Privacy and Safety in the Metaverse?
It’s really hard as of today. You want to protect your digital wallet, you want to protect the platforms are servers you’re on, but nothing is sureproof. You really have to understand how you engage and interact with people in these new spaces. If you feel that, though, something is a little shady or something’s off with somebody you’re engaging with, you have to be attuned to your experiencial awareness.
In this environment it can get really out of control, and I don’t want to see that, but as far as the privacy make sure you don’t tell too much information or details about yourself right, and this includes even where you live.
You don’t want to share too much information when you’re in that environment because it can have effects on you in the real world. Be reserved on the information you’re sharing, really get to know people and be cordial with one another, treat others how you want to be treated because it can really come back and bite you in that environment.
We need companies and the policymakers to ensure that these technologies are developed and used in a way that’s safe, responsible and respect individual rights and freedoms. We need platforms that will be open to everyone. Things need to be as transparent in a virtual environment.
So for an example of this, I know on Facebook, somebody said their avatar was physically harassed by another person. So now they have parameters you can put up so no one can touch your avatar in the metaverse, and I know that may be a little crazy to some people but it isn’t when you feel your being attacked.
It goes back to the mental shock and experience that you’re having and how it really does have big implications on people, especially the children.
What Are Governments Doing Around Regulation and Development In The Metaverse?
I know certain governments are creating digital responsible councils. I know one particular government is actually focused on people being in safe, enjoyable environments, and being able to enhance their prosperity while they’re in these virtual spaces and to be able to express themselves freely. They are setting goals and then trying to create policies to enable those goals for everybody.
China are going one step further and developing a social credit system. This system basically rewards or punishes you based off of your trustworthiness and you being a good citizen.
So we are at the forefront where possibly this new technology is going to dictate our new social norms in the real world as well as in this metaverse, and so I can’t really stress enough, we need to get this right.
Now we do have powerful world leaders who are looking at these type of models, and it may extend you know across borders where you know people are getting rewarded by donating blood or donating money or, if you don’t go visit your parents enough, you can’t stay at a certain hotel or you don’t qualify for a certain level job.
I don’t want to see this happening amongst the masses though. I want web 3.0 to be fun, a place of freedom happening, and so, if we don’t get these policies and this openness together, I can see this happening. I can see our real world norms changing because of what we do in the metaverse.
What Is Your Idealistic Version Of The Metaverse in 5 to 10 Years Time?
Idealistically, the metaverse is that alternative environment that enhances your day-to-day life. It is the environment where you will go with coworkers. It’s the environment where your children will be meeting with their classmates from all over the world. It will be the new leading place for medical students because you know they’re cutting open the cadavers in the metaverse before they actually do it in the real world so they have a certain level of mental preparedness.
It’s a place where we’re going to buy our cars. It’s just a place where we have extensive positive experiences. It’s a place that we log into to talk with people that aren’t right in front of us; it’s a place to learn and to show respect to people from all over the world. It’s a place where we’ll see many things built and it’s going to connect with our real life.
We’re going to be able to order our food in there and it’s going to be delivered in real life. I think we might have doctors’ visits in there, we’re going to talk to our lawyers in there and companies are going to have these avatars as their front desk help.
The key is to remain balanced in our lives. We cannot let technology take over our lives. We control technology and we cannot let technology control us. I’m a human and I love humans and I want to see us thrive. I want to see us working together and we need to do that by showing compassion, respect to one another. You know being transparent to one another as we’re in this new world and I believe we’re capable of doing it. I think in the future we will be able to achieve all of that.
We’d also love to invite you to watch all episodes of Web3TV where we share inspiring stories of all things web 3.0 at www.web3tv.com.au/watch
Connect with us on our Social Media Pages below: