A senior member of the European Commission stated on Friday that in deciding how to regulate the metaverse, the EU must take into account challenges like non-discrimination, user safety, and data privacy.
In a policy document that is due in May, the EU's executive branch is getting ready to outline its position on virtual worlds, and the group wants to avoid the blunders it thinks were made with internet law in the past. At an event the Commission sponsored in Brussels, Yvo Volman, director of data at DG Connect, the European Commission's digital division, made a statement.
"We want to make sure that the developments that we see in virtual worlds are fully in line with our European values from the outset – values such as inclusion, respect of privacy, non-discrimination and equality,”
We need to make sure that people feel just as comfortable, if not more so, in virtual worlds than they do in the actual one, he said. "We must guarantee that users have the information and tools required to protect their data in virtual environments." Volman stated:
“We need to do it right from the beginning. “With the introduction of the internet, we may have made certain mistakes that we need to avoid.”
Current changes to the EU's regulatory framework are aimed at reducing the dominance of big corporations like Google and Amazon online.
The influential antitrust division of the commission's officials has already voiced concern over the possibility that similar problems in Web3 could emerge, such as those caused by the social media network company Facebook, which has changed its name to Meta Platforms in an effort to create its own virtual reality environment online.
Although Volman acknowledged some benefits of the metaverse, such as the availability of online healthcare or education, he also stated that "we also have to face the negatives."