Privacy Risks and Legal Jurisprudence in the Emerging Metaverse: Evaluating the Use of Digital Avatar Personas for Governance and Data Privacy Law Reform

Project report


Georgiades, Eugenia, Birt, James R. and Svantesson, Dan Jerker B. 2023. Privacy Risks and Legal Jurisprudence in the Emerging Metaverse: Evaluating the Use of Digital Avatar Personas for Governance and Data Privacy Law Reform. Australia. Bond University.
Report TypeProject report
Research Report CategoryIndustry
AuthorsGeorgiades, Eugenia, Birt, James R. and Svantesson, Dan Jerker B
Institution of OriginBond University
Number of Pages118
Year2023
PublisherBond University
Place of PublicationAustralia
Abstract

This report evaluates the privacy risks associated with the use of people’s digital avatar personas within persistent immersive virtual environments to support governance and the pursuit of data privacy law reform. The emerging Metaverse poses unique legal risks not seen in previous instances of virtual worlds and current Web 2.0 ecosystems, including ethical, cultural, and legal ramifications for using images of living and deceased people that are not clearly defined under current laws. Using a comparative approach, the report focuses on the legal jurisprudence of four jurisdictions, the Europe Union, Singapore, the US (exemplified by California), and Australia, to determine whether the existing legal regimes are adequate to protect privacy concerns around: Generative digital images made possible through machine learning; Virtual reality-based use of digital twin avatars; decentralised blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) linking assets ownership to digital images; and rights of permanent deletion of user-generated and AI constructed digital persona reconstructions. Using Meta Horizon as the basis for a case study that represents the features of an emerging Metaverse the report focuses on examining the privacy implications of the use of people’s images and avatars within an immersive digital platform.

ANZSRC Field of Research 2020480603. Intellectual property law
460402. Data and information privacy
460708. Virtual and mixed reality
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Byline AffiliationsBond University
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