February 27, 2023

EU Metaverse Strategy Should Tackle Non-Discrimination, Data Privacy, Says Official

European Commission

European Commission

A senior European Commission official said that the European Union’s metaverse strategy should consider data privacy, user safety, and non-discrimination to be well-regulated. 

Yvo Volman, director of data at the European Commission’s digital department, DG Connect, pointed out during an event hosted by the European Commission in Brussels that the bloc needs to avoid mistakes with internet policy that happened in the past as the EU prepares for setting out its strategy in the virtual space in a policy document in May. 

“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,” Volman was quoted by Coin Desk as saying. 

He asserted the importance that people should feel safe in the metaverse, similar to what they do in the real world or actually perhaps even safer, adding that metaverse users should possess the right skills and tools to protect their virtual assets. 

“We need to get it right from the start,” said Volman. “We need to avoid some mistakes that we perhaps have made with the advent of the internet.” He also pointed to the benefits of the metaverse in the educational and medical domains, however, he referred to the necessity of addressing the downsides. 

In light of concerns by European officials over big tech companies, like Google, Amazon, and Meta control over the virtual worlds, the EU has outlined sweeping regulations to control their ability to dominate the online spaces. 

The European Commission is expected to issue a draft law on promoting the digital euro and develop its metaverse strategy in May, a document published on the commission’s website revealed.

At the time that the European Central Bank did not decide to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the commission pointed out that new laws needed to be issued to enhance the CBDC’s legal status and set anti-money laundering regulations, Coin Desk reported. 

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