January 27, 2022

Privacy: Senator Al Franken Sends Letter to CEO of Oculus Rift Requesting Info on Collection, Storage, and Sharing of Users’ Personal Data

From the Office of Sen. Al Franken (D-MN):

Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) called on the makers of Oculus Rift, a just-launched virtual reality technology system, to explain how it plans to protect its users’ very sensitive location data.

According to its privacy statement, Oculus Rift automatically collects its users’ location data—including precise physical movements and dimensions—and could share it with third parties. In a letter sent Thursday, Sen. Franken expressed concern about the extent of this data collection and asked several questions about what the company is doing with the data it collects.

“Oculus’ creation of an immersive virtual reality experience is an exciting development, but it remains important to understand the extent to which Oculus may be collecting Americans’ personal information, including sensitive location data, and sharing that information with third parties,” said Sen. Franken, top Democrat on the Senate Privacy and Technology Subcommittee. “I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes an individual’s access to information about what data are being collected about them, how the data are being treated, and with whom the data are being shared. As virtual reality technology evolves, I ask that you provide more information on Rift and how Oculus is addressing issues of privacy and security.”

In March 2014, Oculus Rift was acquired by Facebook.

The letter to Oculus Rift CEO Brendan Iribe is available here and also embedded below.

Letter From Sen. Al Franken to Brendan Iribe, CEO of Oclus Rift

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.