It seems like the folks at Meta finally realised how most people don’t exactly feel all too comfortable with the fact that without a Facebook profile, the Oculus VR was a useless device. And although they seem to have fixed it, it’s not exactly all rainbows and cupcakes for those who care for their privacy either and really, with Meta still owning the platform, there’s no serious difference.
A Meta account is now required instead of a Facebook account
Most internet users woke up to Facebook’s shady data mining a long while ago and because of the privacy-related scandals in which they’ve been involved, the lack of trust is very reasonable. It doesn’t take too long to realise just how badly Mark Zuckerburg wants your information when you take a look at how manipulative the policies for a lot of Meta’s services are and how much information they want to be fed and the Oculus is no different.
The Facebook account requirement pushed away a lot of people in the market for a VR device and now, they’ve changed the requirement to a Meta account.
Now while this might sound like something of a change, anyone who knows how these businesses work knows it might not amount to anything at all. Just a look at the new policies throws enough light on the not so innocent intentions that the platform still has.
Some of the concerning points from the new Terms of Service are listed below
1.1.d. You must provide us with accurate and up to date information (including registration information), which may include providing personal data. Also, you may not impersonate someone you aren’t.
1.2. Meta Company Products. We may make certain Meta Company Products available for use on MPT Products. You may need to connect your Meta account to another account type (such as a Facebook or Instagram account) to access certain features or services offered by Meta Company Products (for example, you may need to connect your Meta account to a Facebook account in order to share content from a MPT Product on Facebook). If you choose to use these Meta Company Products, your use of them is subject to the relevant terms and conditions for those Meta Company Products (including relevant data policies).
1.3. Ads and Sponsored Content. Certain MPT Products may show you ads and other commercial and sponsored content that we think may be relevant to you and your interests. As stated in the Meta Terms of Service, we don’t sell your personal data to advertisers, and we don’t share information that directly identifies you (such as your name, email address or other contact information) with advertisers unless you give us specific permission.
3.3. Permission to use your name, profile picture, and information about your actions with ads and sponsored or commercial content. You give us permission to use your profile name, profile picture, and information about actions you have taken in MPT Products (for example, apps you use) next to or in connection with ads, offers, and other sponsored or commercial content that we display in MPT Products without any compensation to you. Additionally, if you choose to connect your Meta account with other Meta Company Products accounts (such as your Facebook or Instagram accounts), you also give us permission to display your profile information and information about actions you have taken in MPT Products across Meta Company Products. Ads and content like this can be seen only by people who have your permission to see the actions you’ve taken in MPT Products consistent with your privacy settings.
Now without getting too deep into it, it’s obvious how the policies seem to begin with promises about privacy but then they introduce certain caveats that open the door for well… backdoors into your private information. In the end, their services are still about your data and while the name might’ve changed from Facebook to Meta, this is still among the shadiest tech companies out there that we’re talking about here.