Do we really want to work in the metaverse?

The professional uses of the metaverse strongly question issues related to personal data and, more generally, respect for privacy.

Interpol recently announced the creation of an international police force in the metaverse, although this technology promises to be the next digital revolution. For Internet users, the promise is as follows: many more freedoms in a decentralized web environment where the big tech companies lose their monopoly. From this observation, a significant need for supervision arises. It also comes at a time when the emergence of the hybrid work model is gaining ground. Companies are therefore wondering whether the virtual world will become a new standard to adopt. Today, companies around the world are considering establishing their businesses in the metaverse, but is this good news for employees?

Will the metaverse be the death knell for the concept of privacy?

Employee activity monitoring software has become an increasingly popular productivity measurement tool for employers. But in a world where the future Web 3.0 promises more freedom and decentralization, there is a contradiction with the arrival of metaverses, which can, on the contrary, exacerbate the tendency towards surveillance. Above all, with the ability for employers to record virtual meetings and track time usage more precisely, a greater distrust is likely to set in on both sides. If an employee is considered inactive in the metaverse, how can they prove they are actually working? What about tasks around reflection, strategy or just moments of interruption that are also part of working time? Technologies for monitoring time spent at work are not new, but employers should pay close attention to how this aspect of virtual workspaces can affect metaverse adoption. It is important to consider employee morale, how to retain them and consider recruiting new talent in this environment. Given the reluctance of many employees to accept increased surveillance in the workplace, employers need to be extra careful if they want to step up this practice, and even more so virtually. The real question to ask is whether the frantic race for news takes precedence over employee trust and satisfaction. Labor laws in France are very tight and tend to protect against potential abuse. How could the metaverse adapt to these laws?
So it’s understandable that people take a rather critical look at the metaverse, given how some companies sometimes abuse certain new technologies.

Also, what happens when you become your own data?

Objectively, if everyone creates an identity in the Metaverse, acts, creates and lives in this universe, then it becomes an inexhaustible source of data. If every action is stored and potentially exploitable, how can we protect ourselves and millions of citizens around the world?

On the generational chessboard, Generation Z is the least suspicious of this development. Is it simply a matter of generation, or simply carelessness? We know that the use of social networks, for example, is so widespread in this age group that certain practices go against the basic rules of online security. We can mention, for example, the fact of agreeing to provide personal information (75%) or buying fake followers (almost every fifth person from Generation Z in France) to enjoy greater popularity.

So yes, the metaverse is still in its infancy. Sometimes he makes people smile, people criticize him, but who knows what he will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years? Facebook was born 18 years ago and no longer looks like the company we know today. It is therefore possible to imagine that the metaverse will also experience a real revolution in the same period of time. Although the outlook today is not very good for Meta, we cannot predict what the future holds for us. One thing is certain: there is a good chance that the technologies of the virtual world and its applications will bring about major societal changes. At a time when data has become the new black gold of the 21st century, we must ask ourselves if we should not act now, even without knowing the ins and outs of this new virtual space. It is still important to prevent abuse, as a protection, to imagine a safe place where millions of people can live, work and communicate in complete safety. Online surveillance remains an increased risk and, unfortunately, it is growing. The risk is that it will get out of hand if some push to work in the metaverse too early, before any legislation. Instead of turning a blind eye to the problem today, let’s keep our eyes wide open to avoid being completely overwhelmed by the situation in a few years.

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