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October 2018

Protecting Nonverbal Data Tracked in Virtual Reality

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Communication, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(10):905-906. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.1909

Technology companies are facing scrutiny over privacy concerns as the public and lawmakers realize that the free services they enjoyed for years come at a cost—access to personal data. Now, many of these same companies are selling virtual reality (VR) devices to consumers. As of 2018, there have been millions of systems sold in the United States.1

With VR, in addition to recording personal data regarding people’s location, social ties, verbal communication, search queries, and product preferences, technology companies will also collect nonverbal behavior—for example, users’ posture, eye gaze, gestures, facial expressions, and interpersonal distance.

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