Privacy tab reveals used data on the Meta Quest
Meta promises more transparency for the Quest. A coming privacy tab for apps displays which data individual apps access.
Meta introduced a new "Privacy" tab for the Quest, informing users of collected data. Meta Quest, Quest 2, and Quest Pro menus display the type of data that individual apps access.
Access the tab directly in Virtual Reality in the margin of an app's Store or Library page. The overview should make it easier to understand what types of data each app uses and collects. Previously, this information was less detailed and hidden deeper in the menus like the app's "More Info" tab.
Transparency and privacy for the Quest?
The new privacy tab has three categories, according to the Meta blog:
- Information about you that an app may access, like your username or profile picture.
- Sensor and device data collected or processed by your device's sensors and functionalities. An app may collect certain sensor and device data if you choose to grant permission to enable features like hand tracking or eye tracking.
- Or policies that apply to the app and developer."
App developers don't submit the privacy information themselves. Instead, Meta's operating system checks which sensor permissions the app needs and which APIs it accesses.
Depending on the type of data used, the overview displays appropriate icons. For example, there are logos for accessing the user ID or the avatar. Online games get a microphone logo for voice chat. Position access is marked with an arrow and enables a shopping app to access the local currency and prices, for example.
The hand logo indicates that an app's hand-tracking captures details such as estimated hand size and hand pose data. Meta emphasizes that the hand image data captured by the cameras is only captured on the device itself. There is no storage on Meta servers, according to the Meta Help Center.
Eye-tracking and usage data in VR
For eye tracking and facial expression capture on the Quest Pro, the document explains that the raw data is not shared with apps, even if they access corresponding sensor data.
It is worth wondering whether app developers collect usage data. In the fitness game Litesport, for example, the corresponding bar graph icon appears, but not in the competitor Les Mills Bodycombat. The latter, in turn, accesses follower data to display other players' scores during a workout.
The overview also includes the app developer's exact privacy information. Of course, this could already be accessed, scrolled through, and approved before starting the game. The new privacy section makes this information more accessible.
As usual with Quest updates, it may be a while before the new feature is available to all users. Meta started rolling it out on Tuesday, April 25.
System Update 53 for the Quest also recently brought a useful update feature, Wi-Fi 6E support for Meta Quest Pro, and more.
All information about Sony's VR headset can be found in our Playstation VR 2 review. You will also need a Playstation 5.
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