Trust, Privacy and Safety will define the success of XR Technologies
Be Responsible, Build Strong! -XR Safety Initiative
XR Safety Initiative – XRSI – is viewed by many stakeholders as a necessary component to proactively anticipate and address the cybersecurity challenges faced by globally dispersed researchers when establishing baseline standards and discovery of novel cyber attacks in emerging technologies.
These are very exciting times for technology enthusiasts, especially when it comes to immersive technologies such as XR (AR/VR/MR). With 5G network technologies on the horizon and standalone headsets in play, competition is growing fierce, and that’s great. Every passing day, it is becoming easier to author immersive content, all of which is driving towards mass adoption. While the excitement builds, the immersive tech industry is inevitably facing some crucial challenges.
XR Industry is moving fast, so is the urgency to create standards, guidelines and awareness for XR stakeholders. Recent news about data, privacy and security concerns are growing as the technological advancements take place.
So how exactly does XRSI plan to tackle this?
XRSI has an impressive team of seasoned professionals and advisors who are driven by passion and knowledge. The team lives and breathes in immersive virtual environments. Most of the team members are skilled in anticipating risks associated with new trends and technologies. XR Safety Initiative strives to shed light on and help combat risks via research, collaboration, advocacy and building standards and regulations.
Last month, the founder of XRSI, Kavya Pearlman met with Computer Emergency and Response Teams (CERT) from around the globe at Global Cybersecurity Awareness Symposium in Bucharest and established that Regulations are the quickest way for enterprise entities to act quickly and positively. She has since then, opened a dialogue with the European Commission and actively looking to partner with big tech firms to ensure privacy and security are not left behind as we build these new technologies. For that matter , XRSI started their very first public effort called #XRDCF project – XR Data Classification Framework (details here: https://dcf.xrsi.org).
Kavya Pearlman believes “It is extremely important to promote responsible development and adoption of virtual and augmented reality globally with best practices, dialogue across stakeholders, and research. These solutions can not be an afterthought. Security and privacy have to be baked into the development process plus we need ethical guidelines to ensure these technologies have a positive impact on the society and its well being”. She calls these call to actions “The unheard voices of XR” and urges XR stakeholders to pay attention and ACT, before it is too late.
XRSI is currently soliciting funding that it intends to distribute for various XR security and privacy specific research efforts. It plans to do so in the academic domain by helping build immersive technology research labs around the globe. Another aspect of discovering risks is to find new cyberattacks in these technologies. The way XRSI plans to tackle this aspect is to roll our XR dedicated Bug Bounty program. While it is too early to share more details, one thing we know for sure it is a whole new domain and there is a lot to be learnt by discovering new attacks and helping organizations stay secure by doing responsible disclosure.
The rise of Sci-Fi movies and TV Series are an indicator of dystopian future that we must prepare for. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning along with Brain Computer Interface and CRISPR gene-editing technologies, we really must be careful about the data, security and privacy aspects of immersive worlds. Everything that is conducted in these environments becomes input for the next generation technologies and hence presents a much larger risks that is currently hidden from us all. It is time that we adapt our ways to ensure data security and privacy issues are not left behind because we were too slow to change.
Learn More about XRSI and get involved:
XR Safety Initiative (XRSI) (https://www.xrsi.org/), a non-profit international standards organization focused on the mission of building safe virtual environment. XRSI’s been founded in 2019 by Kavya Pearlman, former Linden Lab Information Security Director, Ibrahim “Abe” Baggili, founder and co-director of the University of New Haven’s Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group, and Regine Bonneau, a leading expert on cyber security, risk management and compliance for private sector and government clients. The effort of XRSI moves on research investment, advisory functions, public working groups and media/awareness campaigns directed to the stakeholders in XR domain.
Writer – Marco Magnano, EU Strategy Adviser- XR Safety Initiative
Co- Writer – Kavya Pearlman, CEO – XR Safety Initiative
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