Building Human Rights Into Metaverse

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December 10
12:00 pm PST
1 hour
Back to 2021 agenda

This event is organized by Electronic Frontier Foundation and Access Now in honor of International Human Rights Day as part of XR Safety Week.

For International Human Rights Day, EFF and AccessNow are bringing together experts and stakeholders in the fields of XR and the human rights community to address the unique risks and challenges the development of these technologies poses from a human rights perspective. This event is a participatory workshop, where attendees will be encouraged to break off into side discussions serving one central question: how do we best incorporate a human rights framework into the future development of XR technologies and future Metaverse(s). To guide these discussions we will have an introduction followed by two sessions hosted by topic experts. You do not need any prior experience in human rights issues or XR policy to attend—just an interest in both.  

Event Schedule (PST): 12pm-2:45pm

Introduction (12:00-12:25pm)

Interactive Roundtable (12:25-1:45pm):

Privacy, Advertising, Biometrics Inferences and Government Surveillance

Extended reality technologies (XR) provide the promise to entertain and educate, to connect and enhance our lives, and even to help advocate for our rights. But they also raise the risk of eroding those rights online. The headsets and devices can gather deeply personal information about you and the world around you, and the XR services often store this data within their servers. And by introducing artificial intelligence to XR, the privacy and security hazards are augmented, as the devices and services gather and analyze data at an unprecedented level. This session will discuss issues such as bystander privacy, biometric inferences, and advertisement in XR, as well as what level of control individuals will have over their avatar?



Community Lab (2:00-2:45pm):

Interoperability, Decentralization and User-Rights in XR Technologies

It is essential to the future of human rights in the Metaverse that user and developer freedoms are not restricted by a walled-garden infrastructure. Such control can have a devastating impact on free speech, competition, and equity for those using these new technologies. This session will explore how XR can be built in an open and decentralized way to ensure platform control is not leveraged by state or private actors. In this community lab, we will address this issue from a variety of perspectives in small discussion groups, before reconvening for a final plenary session.


Expert Guests

  • Andreea Ion Cojocaru, co-founder, NUMENA
  • Avi Ben Zeev, Chief Whateverse Officer
  • Dave Mass, EFF ​​Director of Investigations
  • Gaspar Pisanu, Access Now 
  • Fabien Bénétou, WebXR consultant, European Parliament
  • Jessica Outlaw, Founder, The Extended Mind
  • Jon Callas, EFF Director of Technology Projects
  • Evan Selinger, Professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Matt Mahmoudi, Amnesty International 
  • Shaun Foster, Associate Professor of 3D Digital Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 
  • Veridiana Alimonti, EFF Associate Director for Latin American Policy
  • Kurt Opsahl, EFF, Deputy Executive Director
  • Dylan Urquidi, Unity Labs, Spatial Experience Architect
  • Maria Sol Verniers, ArtTech Hacktivist
  • Kent Bye, Voices of VR
  • Camille Francois, Global Director of Trust & Safety at Niantic. 
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