Oculus Quest 2 is the first Facebook headset need a Facebook account. This is the culmination of a trend towards deeper integration between Oculus products and Facebook services. This means that it is worth knowing which data protection settings are offered to you and which data Facebook collects about your VR use. Here is the overview.
Where can I find the Oculus Quest 2 privacy settings?
While there aren’t many privacy settings customizations available right now, they can be easily changed at least on Facebook. In fact, you can now do it through your web browser by opening the Oculus Privacy Center and then scroll down to privacy settings.
Here’s what you can control and what each option does:
Who will see your activity on Oculus?
This controls how your current activity in VR is shown on your profile (e.g. which app you are using). If you don’t want anyone to know what you’re up to in VR, change that to Just Me.
Who can see your friends list on Oculus?
This controls who can see the people who are your VR friends through your Oculus profile. If you don’t want anyone to see who your VR friends are, change this to Just Me.
Who will see your Facebook name on Oculus?
This controls what name is assigned to your Oculus profile. Depending on your preference, users may see your Oculus username or the first and last name on your Facebook profile. This also controls whether people can search for your Oculus profile by your Facebook name. If you don’t want anyone to see your real name in VR or be able to find your Oculus profile by your real name, change that to Just Me.
You can change another key setting: Whether Facebook saves recordings of your voice that were captured using the Voice Commands feature. By default, every time you use voice commands, a voice recording of the command is saved on Facebook’s servers.
You can only deactivate this option in your headset. That’s how it’s done:
- On your headset, bring up the Quest menu by pressing the Oculus button on your right controller. Find the Settings section (gear icon).
- Select the “Device” option in the “Settings” area on the left.
- From the Device menu, select Voice Commands.
- Switch to the Voice commands menu out the option ‘save voice commands’
This is how you can see what data Facebook has collected about your VR usage
Facebook stores information about what you do in VR for a variety of purposes, including basic account functions (such as knowing what games you’ve purchased) and advertising (such as showing an ad on your Facebook feed for Oculus games, recently searched for in your headset).
You can see a pretty comprehensive list of the data associated with your Oculus account by accessing the Display your information Section of the Oculus Privacy Center. Here is the overview of what is shown there:
- Profile Information
- However Name
- First name
- Surname, surname
- Profile photo
- Avatar 2D Image
- More information about you
- Current and past profile photos
- Information about your account
- Account creation time
- Source for the account creation
- Account Status
- Your apps and content
- Apps you own
- Recently viewed apps
- Bundles that you own
- In-app permissions
- Subscribed events
- Named spaces
- Cloud saves
- Your ratings and reviews
- Information about your devices
- Which Oculus devices are registered in your account?
- Associated devices (names of computers or phones used with Oculus headsets)
- Oculus Home-Status
- Device sharing
- Users you share with
- Your settings and preferences
- Who can see your real name (setting)
- Who can search for you by your real name (setting)?
- Who can see your friends list (setting)
- Who can see your activity (setting)
- Notification settings
- Email Subscription
- Interests (based on Oculus Explore Feed)
- Allow non-Oculus apps (setting)
- Incognito mode (setting)
- Data protection for app activities
- Security and credentials
- Login history
- Active sessions
- Location history
- Rift Home information
- Last Login
- Total houses
- Active houses
- Article uploaded
- Place uploads
- Unlocked household items
- Your language activities
The above is the data Facebook collects about your VR usage. However, when you use Quest 2, your VR usage data is inherently linked to data that Facebook has collected for your non-VR activity. Hence, it is also worth checking out this information to know what kind of data may be used to influence your activity in VR.
The data that Facebook has collected about your non-VR activities can be found at Access your information page on Facebook.
The fine print
If you want to delve deeper into understanding what Facebook is legally saying about the collection and use of your data, here are the key documents that set out the company’s position:
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