An Imperative – Developing Standards for Safety and Security in XR Environments

RESEARCH

In partnership with emteq labs

Whilst virtual reality technologies have been available for decades, we are now in a period of rapid growth in virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies, collectively known as XR.

The acceleration in XR availability and adoption can be attributed to many factors, principally, a reduction in hardware cost, increases the availability of high-speed high-quality connectivity, and most recently, shifts in society brought on by the global pandemic.

As with all emerging technologies, the confluence of new economic and societal norms with new techniques and capabilities gives rise to new opportunities, challenges, and entirely new paradigms.

This paper is based on discussions held during a roundtable conversation between members of the XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) panel, in partnership with emteq labs. The paper examines the opportunities and perils of XR technology and what should be done from a safety and security point of view to maximise the potential for good, whilst mitigating opportunities for harm.

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EXTEND REALITY WITH AWARENESS! XR Safety and Privacy Guide for Artists

STANDARDS

This guide serves all of the artist and media communities. However, it zooms in on the subject of privacy and security for Individual creators, creative collaborators, and artistic developers. No matter which role you play, this guide can be used to ensure the key privacy and security considerations are taken into account during the design of XR products and experiences. Early adoption of these practices will help limit potential cybersecurity and privacy threats.

Taking privacy and security into consideration might not be a part of the natural creative process. However, it is essential to pay attention to these aspects when designing and developing. These proactive actions protect the artists themselves and the audience that may potentially interact with the art or enter into the same thought space as the one intended by the artist. Today’s artists and developers are setting a precedent that will be followed by generations. Therefore we must get it right to create a safe and trustworthy ecosystem.

More information on https://www.artizen.fund/grant/xr-safety-grant

Captain Cuttle and The Quest for Virtual Safety!

RESEARCH
Hiya! I’m Captain Cuttle. Come along with me on an adventure into brave new realities!

On this adventure into Virtual Worlds together we will go on a  Quest for Safety for all explorers. Together we will make sure everyone, even your friends and family, read the Explorer Notes so we can all play safe.

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VR Safety Tips for Parents: Top 7 XRSI Recommendations

RESEARCH

Important SAFETY TIPS Parents NEED TO KNOW about VIRTUAL REALITY

With the Holiday season around the corner, there are going to be a lot of kids with new Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. One of the most common uses of VR is gaming because it gives players an incredibly immersive experience. VR can be a fantastic medium for education, letting adults and children alike feel immersed in the subjects they’re exploring, whether that’s a historic city or human anatomy.

If you are a parent, a teacher, or a guardian, you may be confused about whether VR is safe for children. There are several ways for you to enable safe exploration of VR technology, with a key understanding in mind: It is your responsibility to guide your kids to facilitate safe, responsible, and healthy relationships with VR. With an objective to help facilitate safe exploration of VR for kids, XRSI has put together Top 7 Safety Tips for parents.

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The XRSI Privacy Framework version 1.0

FRAMEWORK RESEARCH

XR Industry is moving fast, so is the urgency to create standards, guidelines, and awareness for XR stakeholders. Recent news about data, privacy, and safety concerns are growing as the technological advancements take place. To address this urgent XRSI is releasing a novel Privacy framework version 1.0.

The framework is a free, globally accessible baseline rulebook built by bringing together a diverse set of experts from various backgrounds and domains, including privacy and cybersecurity, cloud computing, immersive technologies, artificial intelligence, legal, artists, product design, engineering, and many more. 

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The XRSI Definitions of Extended Reality (XR)

STANDARDS PDF 4.79 MB

XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) releases the first set of standard definitions and taxonomies for the immersive technologies and related domains. The document sets the common baseline for a shared vocabulary in the industry, marking the first step in the creation of a full Data Classification Framework, therefore, is not to be considered complete. Additional taxonomies and new publications are to be added continually.

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Immersive Technology Standards

STANDARDS

The XR domain needs a new mindset. As we examine this concept collectively, we learn the magnitude of the potential impact on humanity’s well-being. Furthermore, when we introduce the exponential global aspect of immersive technology and the effect of the recent catalyzing events, we sense the urgency to create a baseline for designing and developing these ecosystems.

The Immersive Technology Standards for Accessibility, Inclusion, Ethics, and Safety is written for a time such as this, with the intent to serve as the blueprint for all that have a stake in the vastly evolving and emerging XR ecosystem. Now is the time to lay down the foundation on which these new ecosystems provide more equitable opportunities and inclusive advancement for all.

Immersive Technology Standards – Diversity and Inclusion

STANDARDS

We are at a crossroads between emerging technologies, data sciences, and cybersecurity — fueled by the renewed, global necessity of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in each domain.

Technology jobs are still facing high levels of gender and ethnicity inequality, and with the rise of Artificial Intelligence-based solutions, the gender and ethnicity exclusion issue is becoming more relevant. The overrepresentation of white men in the design of these technologies could undo decades of advances in gender and racial equality.

Emerging technologies are not going to solve the issue if we’re not going to change the input: If that data carries stereotypical concepts, the resulting application of the technology will perpetuate this bias. The models and systems we create and train are a reflection of ourselves.

Immersive Technology Standards – Ethics and Awareness

STANDARDS

The emerging digital technologies, from artificial intelligence to ingestible sensors, create various ethical challenges, which need to be considered by all stakeholders, including the scientists and engineers involved in their development.
What changes will the emerging technologies have on our minds and bodies? What effects will they have on our relationships with each other, our interaction with machines, and the state of the environment? Shaping the future for the best possible outcome is why defining digital ethics is an imperative for us today, and the challenge must be faced by building an aware and prepared industry and society.
It is wrong to rely on the caution and awareness of the single company or developer, and that is why we need to have ethical guidelines. Having a Universal XR standard covering the ethical field offers the unique opportunity to create an ethical filter in the digital transformation process for everyone and every organization involved in the process. Building ethical cultures in the emerging domains is stronger, and more durable, than regulation alone.

Immersive Technology Standards – Trust and Safety

STANDARDS

The mass adoption of immersive technologies is changing our lives, offering new opportunities, and posing new threats. The large amount of data we deal with, and the expanding attack surface, require us to build trust to a new degree, beyond the traditional concepts of privacy and security. We need a new mindset that incorporates all dimensions of the attack surface, whether it is hygiene for sharing headsets, preventing dizziness and fall due to motion sickness, or minimizing abuse of data and privacy. XR requires us to understand the associated risks in terms of safety, which incorporates privacy and security but also takes into account physical and psychological harm.

Access to XR experiences is progressively becoming more attainable and cost-effective, and some immersive experiences can be as realistic as the “real” world experience. That’s why we need to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable among us, by creating standards that encourage preventive design, solutions, resources, and tools. The abuse or misuse of XR technologies can cause risks and effects on a physical, emotional, developmental, and material level. The rapid adoption of XR, without appropriate standards, research, and guidelines is particularly problematic for children as their brains are not fully developed. Take for instance, the fact that the industry has not yet established the appropriate age for children to be exposed to virtual reality, nor for how long they should experience a particular platform or virtual environment. Children’s safety online has suddenly become more urgent and we need to ensure a special focus is being given to protect children from harm, as they get exposed to XR.

Privacy and security also remain critical to the mission of creating trust. XR technologies have the potential to record all new kinds of user information, from eye movements and emotions to the movement of a user’s entire body through space, so the data must be managed responsibly.
When we talk about “data” in XR, we’re talking about an ocean full of information on any given object, place, or individual. Consumer VR systems typically track body movements 90 times per second to display the scene appropriately, and high-end consumer systems record 18 types of movements across the head and hands. Consequently, spending 20 minutes in a VR simulation leaves just under 2 million unique recordings of body language. Given the enormous amount of data collection and blurred lines of accountability, privacy and data protection has become more complex than ever, and clarity around data ownership, usage, and meaningful consent is more urgent.

XR technologies broaden the range of ways in which a person’s identity, as well as public and private assets, can be at risk. The attack surface has expanded, and with the rise of data breaches and hacking, security is at stake, to the point that XR is considered one of the top 10 privacy risks to watch in 2020 by members of the Future of Privacy Forum.