Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Oculus Quest 2
Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 VR headset lets you play games inside the game or, as Mark Zuckerberg hopes you'll call it, the Metaverse. Immerse yourself in virtual reality as you climb tall mountains, battle bad guys, or have a lightsaber fight with Lord Vader. Just be careful to not get too carried away and break your walls or your neck. Be warned, Facebook still requires you to have a Facebook account to use the Oculus Quest 2. And they can and probably will use that account to generate lots more data about you. That's just what Facebook does.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Facebook—the maker of the Oculus Quest 2—has a long history of betraying users' privacy and trust. They've faced record fines around the world for this and have been caught hiding data leaks from their users. Just as recently as April 2021, it was reported the personal information of more than 500 million Facebook users was shared online in a massive data leak. Couple that with recent Facebook whistleblower testimony to the US Congress that outlined the harms Facebook causes and the dishonest way they approach dealing with these harms and Facebook appears to be one of most immoral companies we review in *Privacy Not Included.
This is the starting point for bringing a device with both cameras and microphones that will be mapping and collecting a lot of data about you and your home environment. To use the device, you're still required to have a Facebook account (unless you shell out an additional $500 for a business version), which is another flag for us as Facebook collects and shares a large amount of user data and doesn’t always secure that data properly. The question comes down to, does Facebook have your best interests at heart when it collects all the data this device is capable of collecting? From Cambridge Analytica to where we are today, the answer to that question is a resounding NO. We're afraid this device comes with *privacy not included.
Tips to protect yourself
- Connect your Oculus to the secure WiFi network
- Set up an unlock pattern and secure your Quest 2 or Quest with an extra layer of security that you can use to prevent others from accessing your device or saved passwords.
- Minimize the amount of data shared with your Facebook account
- Set up your Facebook account's privacy settings
Can it snoop on me?
What can be used to sign up?
Facebook account is required
What data does the company collect?
The name, email address, and phone number
Contacts (optional, when you share content)
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In April 2021, it was reported that there was a personal data leak of about 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birth dates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.
In August 2019, Bloomberg reported that Facebook hired contractors to transcribe audio messages users sent through Messenger and Facebook confirmed the report.
Can this product be used offline?
If using an app that works offline.
User-friendly privacy information?
Detailed Privacy FAQ & settings are provided
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Oculus Insight computes an accurate and real-time position for the headset and controllers every millisecond in order to translate your precise movements into VR
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Will the Oculus Quest still require a Facebook account? It’s complicatedThe Verge
Facebook’s Oculus Quest will soon be called the Meta QuestThe Verge
Facebook Just Gave 1 Million Oculus Users A Reason To QuitForbes
Facebook hit with antitrust probe for tying Oculus use to Facebook accountsTechCrunch
Facebook’s virtual reality push is about data, not gamingThe Conversation
Oculus will sell you a Quest 2 headset that doesn't need Facebook for an extra $500PC Gamer
Facebook VP of VR recommends checking your account is in 'good standing' before buying a Quest 2Fraser Brown
Should You Trust Facebook With Oculus Quest 2 Privacy?Johnathan Jaehnig
Everything We Know About Facebook's Massive Security BreachLouise Matsakis and Issie Lapowsky
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