Essential data security practices to protect rich user experiences

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At Forrester’s Security and Risk Summit today, the company discussed how the needs and collection of individuals’ data will evolve as digital experiences such as reverse become more immersive and intelligent.

Immersive platforms have been driving investment by companies, changing customer expectations, and shaping new models of interaction. However, while many companies plan to use personal data, only a few know how to keep it safe.

Forrester explains that fundamental pillars such as protecting an individual’s data, identity and trusted attributes will play a key role in achieving the promise of immersive digital experiences in the future. future.

Interactive future

Enza Iannopollo, principal analyst at Forrester, says that the metaverse market is expected to be worth $800 billion, but the environment remains relatively well-tested from a security and privacy standpoint.


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“With the advent of digital avatars, users will be able to interact and express themselves more effectively through sound and text,” said Iannopollo. “But the aspect of Privacy inside these immersive platforms is complex and still a challenge for many people. Therefore, it is important to establish user protection and privacy practices. ”

Iannopollo says that developments in the metaverse domain must follow the evolutionary path of the digital experience in order to develop privacy-specific practices.

“Current privacy rules have no effect on virtual experiences,” she said. “We recognize that while privacy concerns many users, it is not yet fully understood and generalized. Therefore, it is important that developers and organizations should not take a human-centered development approach for granted.”

Data privacy concerns remain big

Iannopollo explains that while virtual and augmented reality can create next-generation experiences for sectors like healthcare, education, and retail, it can also allow for unimaginable psychological and emotional manipulation of users.

Recently Cornell University research demonstrated how virtual reality (VR) attackers can secretly identify dozens of attributes of personal data from seemingly anonymous users of popular metaverse apps, shedding light on the risks. the only privacy of the metaverse.

In the study, 30 participants tried out what they thought was an escape game in a virtual reality room. Behind the scenes, a malicious program including a Monte Carlo diagnostic model was able to infer more than 25 attributes of personal data, ranging from traits like height and wingspan to demographics like age and gender , in just minutes playing the game. The program also successfully captures emotional traits such as players’ depression levels.

Iannopollo notes: “As companies known to be data-hungry become more and more involved in VR development, “this test scenario may soon represent a typical VR user experience.”

As a result, Iannopollo says that eliminating privacy gaps and establishing new best practices for data privacy will be key. “Following privacy-enhancing UX design practices, acknowledging cognitive biases and human error, respecting user autonomy, and prioritizing privacy-preserving choices of users will play an important role in integrated human-centered development.”

Image source: Forrester.

The future of immersive experiences

Forrester predicts that digital experiences will completely merge with physical experiences in the next 10 years, with digital identities taking on a sense of privacy in a highly contextual embedded model. administration.

“In the next 10 years, data governance is expected to be embedded in the design principles of mainstream environments. Therefore, we believe that embedded privacy will become an important part of the DNA of immersive digital experiences in the future,” said Iannopollo.

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