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Safeguarding Africans’ safety and freedom in the metaverse

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Peter Arrojojoe

Imagine being able to interact, socialize and work entirely in a virtual world. That’s what the Metaverse can do. Metaverse is a virtual reality platform powered by artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning, and augmented reality technology. The metaverse is full of endless possibilities, but it also comes with certain safety issues.

2022 survey conducted by NordVPN In a survey of privacy issues in the metaverse, 50% of respondents were concerned about user identity issues, 47% were concerned about having to go through mandatory surveillance, and 45% were concerned about personal privacy issues. It became clear that they were concerned that the information would be misused. Based on the above safety concerns, African countries are encouraged to implement safety measures related to the Metaverse by enacting legislation to guide activities in the Metaverse, training professionals working on Metaverse products, and strengthening safety standards. Concerns should be addressed proactively. The need for a proactive response hinges on low rates of digital literacy and the lack of up-to-date privacy laws in most parts of Africa.

African countries should organize an intensive 3-6 month training program for metaverse space professionals on metaverse safety issues.Currently most training program At the Metaverse, we aim to educate Africa creative way Use the metaverse. As such, little or no effort has been made by African countries to train programs on privacy issues in the metaverse. Training programs should therefore be organized in partnership with digital rights advocacy groups such as the Africa Cybersecurity and Digital Rights Organization, the Paradigm Initiative, and the Cybersafe Foundation. Your training audience should include solution architects, blockchain engineers, 3D animators, product managers, product designers, and more. These professionals should be educated on the privacy and safety issues they must be aware of when building and managing products in the metaverse. Such privacy and safety issues include malware and phishing attacks. Similarly, data privacy managers should be educated to update their organization’s privacy policies to collect user posture and gestures, physiological data, biometric data, and sensor data.

Second, African states with existing laws will need to review their data privacy provisions to accommodate activity in the Metaverse, and states without data privacy laws will need to enact legislation.African countries Data privacy Laws include Nigeria, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Uganda, Mauritius, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Due to the large amount of data, it is imperative that activity in the metaverse is properly regulated. treated When share in the virtual world. For example, his 2019 study by the World Economic Forum shows that “in 20 minutes of VR he can generate 2 million unique data elements and an immersive experience in the metaverse.” Therefore, African countries should include data privacy certifications in their national legislation as a requirement to run Metaverse platforms and ensure data security.

In addition, African countries should develop safety standards that include collective input from governments, organizations and technical expert policymakers. Illegal behavior such as bullying, intimidation, theft, and even sexual misconduct are still very common in the Metaverse, so safety standards are essential. Creating a coherent legal framework and adopting measures such as strict adherence to sanctions and punitive measures should be fundamental to providing safety to Metaverse users. African states and policy makers therefore need to brainstorm the creation of safe and free virtual worlds that are devoid of threatening tendencies and explicitly rely on native African legal frameworks in nature. . Through partnerships with communities and non-governmental organizations such as the Cybersafe Foundation, we can create sexual harassment prevention policies in the metaverse. At the same time, innovative mechanisms such as the introduction of biometrics to prevent identity theft should be employed.

Arguably, the essential premise of the metaverse is decentralization. However, the lack of proper regulation within the African digital space poses a problem as fraud, data breaches, bullying and sexual impropriety make users, especially Africans, increasingly vulnerable. , African countries must make conscious efforts to protect Africans who use the metaverse for work, gaming, and social interaction, in collaboration with international organizations such as the African Union and the Digital Rights Group. must be

Peter Arojoye is a Writing Fellow at African Liberty.

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not those of TheCable.

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