META PANIC Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to add NEW metaverse feature that could HELP paedophiles evade police slammed

Posted: 19th May 2022

SAFETY experts have hit out at Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to roll out encryption even further, putting children at greater risk from paedophiles in the metaverse.

The tech billionaire wants to bring controversial end-to-end encryption to messaging and calls on his Quest VR headset.

End-to-end encryption is seen as essential for privacy because no-one can snoop on conversations, but authorities and child protection charities fear it creates a safe haven for sick criminals.

Plans to introduce it across Facebook Messenger and Instagram have been heavily criticised as a result – and have been pushed back.

But now Facebook owner Meta is testing it on the Quest VR headset as an optional setting.

It comes amid mounting concern about children accessing inappropriate content in the metaverse via third party apps that Meta do not own.

“We’ve seen story after story about kids put at risk in the Metaverse where they can mingle with adults in sex clubs and are subjected to sickening comments and child abuse,” Andy Burrows, Head of Child Safety Online Policy at the NSPCC told The Sun.

“But instead of fixing these issues Meta seem to be bundling together a combination of risks in a cavalier way and creating products that are dangerous by design.

“Meta must publish their impact assessment for end-to-end encryption on Oculus and set out how this decision complies with the ICO children’s code in the UK. If they won’t, the regulator must stand ready to investigate.”

It’s not clear how many people are involved in the test at present, nor how you can opt into it.

Meta says keeping user information secure is “one of our top priorities” across all its apps and services.

“When people trust that their conversations are truly private, they feel safe to express themselves and build stronger online connections,” the firm explained in a blog post.

A rep for the firm told The Sun: “The overwhelming majority of Brits already rely on messaging services that use end-to-end encryption to keep them safe from hackers, fraudsters and criminals.

“We agree on the need for strong safety measures that work with encryption and are building these into our plans.”

In its v40 update, the Quest also gains new audio accessibility options, such as a way to adjust the audio balance.

A lock pattern security feature which users can add onto individual apps is also being introduced.

Source: The Sun

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