The metaverse is coming, but so are all these security problems | ZDNet

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Big Tech shows no desire to stop trying to be the metaverse, whether we like it or not. Whichever special edition will win remains to be seen, and when (eventually the arrival of virtual and augmented reality to the masses is almost five years away from nearly three decades).

But whenever and however it comes, it’s hard to see how Metaverse will address the privacy and security problems we’ve been trying to tackle in our current technology for too long.

Chances are it will spoil them all a lot.

Never forget that a significant portion of the modern web – perhaps even the majority – is under surveillance capitalism. That is, being able to see and analyze us, gathering information about who we are and what we like, is fundamental to the business models of nearly all big tech companies.

Another problem that isn’t going away: Tech companies continue to push buggy software code out the door, which developers don’t have time to secure properly because being the first to market to protect their customers’ data and privacy. matters more than that. And as a result, privacy leaks are so common that most consumers are so upset that they simply shrug their shoulders and continue doing business with whatever company has been breached this time.

Meanwhile, scammers continue to up their game. Whether they are dealing with phishing or ransomware or data theft, most police will not understand the crime and even if they do, the crooks will either disappear to another jurisdiction or even leave to work for the government; It’s hard to chase either way.

The metaverse complicates all of these problems.

If you think big technology knows a lot about you based on the websites you visit or the links you click, the image is going to be able to record literally everything you see. How much will they know about you after that, and for how long? And if the big tech that knows about it is bad enough, it’s going to be even worse when that data inevitably leaks out.

If you phishing scams were bad now, thanks to carefully scripted emails or even deeply faked audio or video, get ready for your CEO to appear in a virtual job and collect millions from you in one go. Ask to transfer to random bank account.

Or as Charlie Bell, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Security, Compliance, Identity and Management, explained in a recent blog: “The problems of yesterday and today’s Internet – impersonation, attempts to steal credentials, social engineering, nation-state espionage, inevitable Weaknesses – will be with us in the metaverse,

This is just the beginning. With having a physical representation of yourself in the virtual world comes many other risks.

Thinking optimistically, perhaps the leap to the metaverse will make all of these problems so obvious and so pressing that big tech – and wider society – will have no choice but to go back and fix the privacy and security problems that are so common. Long dragging. long.

It is impossible, and perhaps even impossible. So maybe it’s time to start demanding better from tech companies before they impose a future on us that solves none of the problems we’re already grappling with – and just more add up.

ZDNet’s Monday morning opener is our opening take of the week in tech, written by members of our editorial team. We are a global team so this editorial is published on Mondays at 8:00am AEST in Sydney, Australia, 6:00am Eastern Time on Sundays in the US and 11:00am in London.

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