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Meta Quest headsets to start collecting 'anonymized' data after next update (Update)

Be on the lookout for the next software update.
By

Published onFebruary 27, 2024

Meta Quest 3 Closeup on Front
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Meta emailed Meta Quest headset owners to announce it would begin collecting “anonymized” data after the next software update.
  • The data will include information on hand and body movement, eye tracking, your physical environment, and more.
  • The company claims it will use the data to build better experiences.

Update: February 27, 2024 (5:00 PM ET): A spokesperson for Meta has reached out to Android Authority and provided the following statement:

A user can choose to share identifiable data with us to help us improve Meta Quest products. But we are constantly evolving our privacy models to maximize the use of anonymized data over identifiable data where we can, so we began collecting anonymized data to help us improve Meta Quest products. Anonymized data is more privacy-protective for our users because it does not identify them. This is one way we’re continuing to deploy privacy-enhancing technologies for people who use Quest. You can learn more here.

Original article: February 27, 2024 (1:38 PM ET): Meta’s Quest headsets are some of the most popular VR devices on the market. However, privacy concerns have kept some people away from the brand. Meta’s latest announcement won’t do anything to assuage those feelings either.

Meta already makes it known that it collects certain types of data on its Quest platform on the company’s help center. This data is said to be used to “ensure your Meta Quest products work as intended, to implement your settings, and to maintain safety, security and integrity.” However, it appears there will be some changes in the near future.

According to Ars Technica, Meta sent Quest owners an email about incoming data collection changes. After the next software update rolls out, Meta will reportedly start collecting and aggregating “anonymized data” related to device usage — including hand and body movement, eye tracking, your physical environment, and more. The social media giant says this data will be used for “building better experiences and improving Meta Quest products.”

On its help page, which was also updated on Monday, the company lists the kind of data it typically gathers. This includes things like your Bluetooth connectivity status, errors and crashes, hardware performance, and credentials.

There are some types of data collection you can opt out of, like feature and product performance analytics. But it’s unclear if you’ll be able to opt out of any of the new data collection that will be implemented in the next update.

Meta emphasizes that this data is anonymous, so you won’t be identified by it. However, anonymous information has been linked back to personally identifiable information before.

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