The metaverse will allow users to work, meet, game, and mingle together in these three dimensional spaces. Metaverse will change everything we know about our lives; the way we eat, the way we play games, the way we hang out with our friends, or the way we work. We’ve all seen movies like Matrix, Black Mirror, and Ready Player One, all of which featured the nearest experiences of Metaverse.
We have begun to value what we experienced online during the pandemic work from home scenario (a) how many followers we have for our profile, (b) how many likes we have for our photos, (c) how many views we get on our story, (d) how we look in digital life. Why we do it is, because we judge our value and worth by the above metrics.
This has begun to provide opportunities for the Metaverse to accelerate more and more. We have also seen Microsoft investing 70 billion $ in Activism Blizzard for gaming and Google investing 40 million $ in private equity firms for Metaverse and so on. We have also seen NIKE and ADIDAS selling digital shoes in Metaverse.
How is Metaverse better equipped?:
Metaverse is a decentralised structure, The property rights are cryptographically enforced, It’s an open source code, The data is transparent, Accesses are permission-less, Ownership is Community, Identity is user controlled, Content policy is user choice, User acquisition is by incentive, You can socialise directly and finally the Display systems are diverse.
Impact of Metaverse:
Walking around in three dimensional version in this alternate universe might looks thrilling for all of us, it comes its own set of positives and negatives.
Digital artists are making virtual worlds with their canvas and creating new forms of expression. It definitely has positive impacts on our daily lives, it can be a great use in fields like overcoming obstacles for disabled, enhancing creativity and imagination, travelling the world without moving, increasing technology literacy and skills, connecting with new people without being awkward, creating new job opportunities, meeting your loved ones whenever you want, more possibilities for education and finally giving opportunity for self-expression.
At the same time Metaverse is also creating new possibilities of online abuse, that may include sexual harassment, racist comments, violent threats and most new Metaverse users feel that it is not safe for all users.
Privacy breaches in Metaverse?:
Our entire digital identities, gender, age, ethnicity, body weight, personality traits, habits, emotions, skills and abilities, fears, interests, and sexual preferences are replicated in the virtual world. Does this mean we are barging our privacy? Are we marching towards invasive data collection and a ubiquitous surveillance approach?
For argument’s sake, let’s see what can be tracked in virtual world (a) Mental health condition (b) Personality traits (c) Level of sleepiness (d) Process of cognition (e) Skills and abilities (f) Mental workload (g) Physical health (h) Geographical origins (i) Ethnicity (j) Cultural Affiliation.
Digital Rights in Metaverse:
We cannot draw any hard distinction between digital and non-digital rights. There is a monotonic decrease in the openness of our virtual world where we once had world wide web which was relatively wide open. The challenges for digital rights in Metaverse are how the assets, data, and interactions are governed.
(a) In virtual world, all transactions (digital assets) are monetised in the form of either cryptocurrency or NFTs, and this digital asset could be an image, or music, or a video, or a 3D object, how are we dealing with the ownership irrespective of it being licensed or serviced.
(b) Data protection and processing of personal data, which includes facial expressions, gestures, and other types of reactions to an avatar in the virtual world, should be taken care.
(c)During interactions with other avatars in virtual world, a dispute may arise that is equivalent to a criminal offence, such as assault, murder, burglary, or rape, how are we dealing with it.
Given the scenario of groping of a female avatar, we have to question ourself does the virtual female avatar possesses “modesty? We are aware that people are buying digital currencies, digital assets and digital spaces. Metaverse has thrown a plethora of challenges and we are at the very beginning of the revolution of the virtual world, and full implications of the technology like Metaverse is yet to unveil. The core important elements of digital rights in virtual world are how the (a) assets are transacted, (b) how data is consumed, (c) how the interactions are governed.