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Facebook denies rumour its Oculus VR headsets are gathering user room data

Facebook denies rumour its Oculus VR headsets are gathering user room data

Social media behemoth Facebook denied reports that the virtual reality headsets have been gathering and sharing user room data.

According to UploadVR, a supposed insider from the social network giant created a post on Reddit, claiming Insight and Guardian bug reports included images of the testers' homes.

However, the company claims that the screenshots were opt-in submissions from the testers who volunteered to take the headsets home.

"For our internal hardware testing, employees volunteer to take home and test products and agree to share their experiences to help improve the product for consumers," said a Facebook representative.

"Employees are given the option to include a screenshot when they report bugs (to assist with debugging) and they can choose if they'd like to submit it for review."

The company claims it's neither sharing or gathering information about rooms the VR headsets are being used in. The data is stored locally and not shared with the servers. Should this change, the firm will inform users.

"We don't collect and store images or 3D maps of your environment on our servers today — images are not stored anywhere, and 3D maps are stored locally on the headset [for Quest] and on your local PC, where you have access to delete it [for Rift S]," said the representative.

"That said, we'll notify consumers if this information is required for VR experiences we provide on Quest and Rift S in the future."

The representative continued: "The only information we keep on our servers consists of performance metrics that don't contain any recognisable detail about your environment. These metrics help us improve Oculus Insight."

Facebook, of course, has a history of collecting and using user data, seen most notably in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.


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Staff Writer

A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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