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Consumers are Concerned About Data Privacy Protection in the Metaverse

By Tracey E. Schelmetic March 03, 2023

We all want a good digital customer experience. We want the ads we see on social media to be custom-tailored for us. We want companies to understand what we want and how we want it, so they don’t waste time trying to sell us goods and services we have zero need for. And, notably, we’re willing to give up personal information to do it. Many of us are eager to participate in the metaverse; that idea of a single, shared, immersive online experience. But we’re also very concerned: how are these companies keeping our personal information safe? After all, the more information about ourselves that we give up, the more it can be misused against us.

A recent survey conducted by digital customer experience company TELUS International revealed that consumers are concerned about the safety and security of their personal data in the metaverse, with the majority of respondents (60%) citing privacy and data security concerns as a reason for why they’d be uncomfortable completing various tasks in this emerging digital world. The study found that as the metaverse continues to gain traction among brands and consumers alike, more than one-third (~34%) of respondents said their top concern was that their personal data will be compromised. Additionally, 56% believe that it will be easier for hackers to steal their identity or data in this new digital space.

“The metaverse provides an exciting and immersive way for consumers to interact with their favorite brands,” said Michael Ringman, Chief Information Officer for TELUS International. “Unfortunately, with the emergence and adoption of new technologies and platforms there are also opportunities for bad actors to deploy new and oftentimes more sophisticated forms of identity theft. Add to the fact that the metaverse is still in its nascency of being regulated, making it easier for fraudsters to impersonate an individual and carry out unauthorized activity without any real world implications. To safeguard their customers and brand reputation, companies must prioritize embedding robust trust and safety measures in the foundation of their metaverse strategy, while also ensuring that these measures are seamlessly integrated so they do not overly complicate the customer journey.”

Experts are recommending that companies expand their use of trust, safety and security solutions such as content moderation, identity verification, fraud detection and prevention. These solutions, combined with an effective mix of resilient human support and technology automation, can help deliver a full-service framework to help brands actively manage risk, reputation, security and safety.

Edited by Alex Passett
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