“Metaverse could be a new toy for cyberattacks from a new dimension”

Facebook has announced its ambition to create a “metaverse”, a parallel digital universe in 3D where it is possible to communicate, meet, walk around, shop in the form of a virtual body that includes facial expressions and actions, called avatars. The Metaverse can be accessed via a virtual reality helmet, sensory gloves and likely systems that produce fragrances, odors, which are still ongoing. In this universe where Facebook (now Meta) has set its own control goal, companies will open stores, stalls, offices that are their 3D digital showcases, which are already economically valued, according to their “nearness” in the future. central core of this world. .

There is no limit

It should be remembered that it will not be accessible to all Internet users because it will require expensive technological leaps, for terminals, sensory interfaces and for the Internet network (very high speed network, power to -compute considered by others to be multiplied by a thousand compared to current standards). In this condition you can, through your avatar, buy unique virtual stores, touch something, something of clothing, look at it from every angle, walk around the streets and delirious places, to dance, see. movies, attending concerts and public events, it’s “no contact” and no physical restraint in the real world. Just like 10 years ago when existing social networks emerged in the public space, social movements will no doubt invest in these areas for collective “meta-mobs” with talks, virtual mobility. in people and immediate interactions. In this space of all possibilities you can also meet the avatar of your distant loved ones, keep up their appearance, their movements and their voice, which you can feel the touch or holding of the hand.

“If designers have imagination, so do evil spirits”

And since Facebook-Metaverse already has 15 years of data, exchanges and photos taken by its 3 billion users, we can predict that nothing can stop there being such opportunities to share a deceased person’s avatar to maintain their appearance, their voice, manners, even their convictions, synthesized from publications made during their lifetime… deceased stars, historical figures can also be “born again. also ”and attract many“ metavers ”. Disturbing feeling of “Internity”, this word I coined 10 years ago to symbolize salvation after death in the “cloud” (digital). Everything seems possible and limitless except the imagination of the designers!

Yes without limit! Because if designers have imagination, evil spirits have it too. In the same way that Facebook-Instagram and most social networks face the problem of regulating abusive language or cyberbullying, this “new dream world” will definitely be the place of more than one completely different dimension, precisely allowed by its new dimension, that the observation of the current nature of grief makes predictable. In general, this space can be a new playground for cyberattacks from individuals, organizations or the State, aimed at paralyzing targeted virtual areas, to prevent transactions, disrupt a performance. , an assembly, a mobilization.

How to regulate?

Sure there are also underground areas, accessible by going through side roads, where you can find everything, in the same way that there is a darknet independent of the net. The sex industry, which is constantly investing in new media of all kinds (series of books, press, cinema, Minitel, Internet, social networks, etc.) is sure to thrive in the Metaverse, as it is today. dating sites and dedicated meetings. areas, backrooms, remote digital brothels heirs of one that rose from the ashes of Pompeii, are expected.

“It can be possible verbally, whether physical or sexual aggression”

At the individual level there are avatars — fakes, trolls, purely virtual bots, not associated with a physical person who will nevertheless walk by your side, whom you will meet, with whom you will associate … they will take over a physical appearance, a voice, a constantly evolving conversation to drown in repetitive commercial information, invective, “spammer”. The remote retrieval and abduction of avatars of real people can also be seen with the aim of diverting their payments or taking them into an unwanted virtual space (scenes of violence or sex). , unpleasant sensations given by gloves, etc.). And how to distinguish the true from the false in this “false-real world” synthesized from the left?

Above all, it makes possible verbal, whether physical or sexual aggression, made everything more realistic in 3D, the many senses activated by the immersive Metaverse experience and the little understanding of the physical, even moral, natural barriers. in this place designed with the idea of ​​unrestricted freedom. This can be the result of separate or combined avatars in meetings with very realistic scenes of harassment or violence performed by avatars with unfriendly faces, shouting, insulting, approaching, blocking the field. to see or “touch” yours and anywhere. as an attack. True, the “victim” is often able to immediately remove their virtual reality helmet and gloves, but it is understood that this type of experience affects vision, touch and hearing with an interpretation that is more realistic because it exactly as expected. that it is in this world designed for this purpose can have more painful consequences than an insulting comment in a publication.

“We need to regulate the actions, movements, movements of avatars while immediately ensuring” collective security “of payments, venues, entries”

So how can order reign in this world by regulating the relationship between digital avatars, by identifying and neutralizing false avatars and by rejecting individual or collective malicious actions? It promises to be much more difficult than it is now to moderate comments, photos and videos, on social networks, which are problematic and unfinished. Because more than that, it is necessary to regulate the actions, movements, movements of avatars while immediately ensuring the “collective security” of payments, venues, entries. Can it be private font, Facebook, or public? And in the latter case, what about the regulatory differences between States in a system that is in the sense globalized? So the lines of computer programmers in Metaverse are not limited to creating this world but they promise to weigh heavily on the underlying meanings of society.

READ ALSO: “The metaverse is above all symptomatic of a complex relationship to reality”

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