Mike Gerwitz

Activist for User Freedom

Facebook will use software for the VR headset Occulus Rift to spy on you


Anything coming out of Facebook should be cause for concern. So, naturally, one might be concerned when they decide to get into the virtual reality (VR) scene by purchasing the startup Occulus VR, makers of the Occulus Rift VR headset. One can only imagine all the fun ways Facebook will be able to track, manipulate, spy on, and otherwise screw over users while they are immersed in a virtual reality.

Sure enough, we have our first peak: the software that Facebook has you install for the Occulus Rift is spyware, reporting on what unrelated software you use on your system, your location (including GPS data and nearby Wifi networks), the type of device you’re using, unique device identifiers, your movements while using the VR headset, and more.

This is absurd. Do not play into Facebook’s games through temptation of cool new technology; reject their terms and see if there’s other ways you can use the headset without their proprietary spyware. If not, perhaps you should ask for a refund, and tell them why.