Lately, major tech companies including Facebook, Instagram, and Microsoft have been focused on building the “metaverse.” The term refers to shared, virtual worlds that parallel the physical world. Headset users can immerse themselves in virtual reality that mimics or expands the real one. While immersive virtual technologies will likely transform education, health care, entertainment, and military applications, they may also, without adequate safeguards, create new issues or get bogged down in old issues like harassment and disinformation.
Lawmakers and Congress have yet to make legislation to address tech-enabled dangers such as data privacy, consumer safety, misinformation, and biometric security that plague computers and smartphones. At this point, along with the federal government and tech companies, they are still struggling to limit damaging cyberattacks and plug security gaps.
Another decade may pass before the 3D metaverse develops fully. But with this new technological evolution, the tech industry and companies are working with lawmakers to try to ensure its safe rollout. It’s a positive change compared to previous tech developments, where privacy invasion and disinformation took hold before anything was done to prevent it.