Identity and the Metaverse: Decentralized Control

“Metaverse” and “Web3” are buzzwords of the moment, and their concepts permeate the worlds of fintech, blockchain, and even mainstream media. Decentralization is considered to be at the heart of the Web3 Metaverse, and the promise of better user experience, security, and control for consumers is what drives its growth. But with user identities at the heart of Metaverse, coupled with the unprecedented amount of data online, there are concerns about data security, privacy and interoperability. This has the potential to hinder the development of Metaverse, but both regulated identities and sovereign identities can play an important role in ensuring that we truly own our identities and data in this new space.

related: Digital Sovereignty: Reclaiming Your Private Data in Web3

What is the Metaverse?

While the concept of the Metaverse has been around for a while, it has recently been brought into the spotlight, Mark Zuckerberg chooses to rename his company “Meta” (annoying to many in the blockchain community!). As the digitization of many aspects of our lives has begun, many believe that the metaverse will touch everyone’s future and that it will dramatically change the way we interact with technology.

There is widespread debate about the appearance and composition of the metaverse, but it is thought to be a catchall of many explanations, among which Metaverse The physical world will be replicated in a digital environment and enable interactions similar to what we experience in our daily lives. In theory, it will include augmented reality, the digital economy and Web3.

related: How NFTs, DeFi and Web 3.0 are intertwined

Inclusion and Identity

Metaverse offers unlimited opportunities to people and businesses from different fields and needs.this is recently statement One of the biggest changes in the Metaverse is inclusivity, which means anyone with access to the internet can take advantage of its benefits. This includes the fact that the world’s 1 billion currently unbanked people will eventually be able to enter the global economy through Metaverse.

Notably, digital identities will be at the heart of Metaverse, from digital avatars to customization using augmented reality to the ability to automatically book restaurants online. It will provide people of all genders, ages and backgrounds the opportunity to express themselves in new ways, and will allow new types of interactions and communities to form online. In this regard, some argue that it is considered a safer space for anyone to thrive in than the real world. However, with more data being stored online than ever before, concerns have arisen about trust and its privacy.

related: The creator economy will explode in the metaverse, but not under tech giants

Decentralization and Control

Blockchain technology using a decentralized model will underpin Web3 and Metaverse and is expected to provide new levels of openness. Web2 is often seen as some centralized tech company that collects user data, a practice that has been criticized for surveillance and exploitative advertising. Web3, by contrast, will empower everyone involved, with users owning their digital assets, personal data, and identities.

However, with so many actors involved in creating and maintaining the metaverse, from those building the underlying technology to NFT creators and virtual and augmented reality producers, and the sheer volume of sensitive information online, there are concerns over whether users really have full control their credentials. We’ve seen Facebook’s data breaches do damage a few years ago, and Cointelegraph A Facebook whistleblower recently highlighted Who has raised concerns about the privacy of user information shared with Meta in Metaverse.

The importance of self-sovereign identity

However, forward-thinking tech companies are one step ahead. Some of them have recognized potential issues with control and privacy and have begun developing game-changing solutions to ensure decentralized control and protection of user information. They believe that Metaverse needs to be designed according to open standards, self-sovereign identity (SSI) is a panacea for the trust problem within the Metaverse.

SSI is digital identity that focuses on verified and authentic credentials related to real-world verification data (such as biometrics) that are managed in a decentralized manner. By leveraging blockchain technology and zero-knowledge proofs, users can manage their own digital identities without relying on a third party to centrally store and manage their data. Most importantly, this information is permanently stored in a non-custodial wallet controlled by the user and temporarily accessed within Metaverse at the owner’s discretion. This verified data will allow them to access and own their assets by simply being themselves, and it is believed that this will fundamentally change how that user owns and controls data.

related: Self-regulation, control and identity: How regulators got it wrong

What role will regulation play in this?

Nonetheless, many believe that regulation also needs to play an important role in Metaverse, so that consumers and businesses have the confidence to operate in Metaverse and ensure that their data and identities are protected.

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey recently tweeted what he thinks Web3 doesn’t necessarily increase user power As many have predicted, because it will simply take that power away from the government and hand it over to venture capitalists investing in blockchain, or a big tech company like Meta. So we need regulation.

Many believe that in order to compete in the global digital and economic realm, countries need to embrace the digital economy and the Metaverse, but many existing regulations need to be significantly expanded to cover the Metaverse. Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more government regulation of the crypto space, from China’s outright ban on crypto transactions to El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, but when it comes to identity and data control in Metaverse, there are A long way to go. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK data protection laws certainly have a role to play, but improvements are needed if we are to effectively protect consumers and the data they provide.

related: A new approach to privacy after EU data oversight fails

It is clear that the metaverse will lead to earth-shaking changes, and this new system architecture could disrupt people, places, and economies. There is also a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding the use of personal data, looking to provide new and better experiences for users addressing today’s problems. With the advent of new technologies, a lot of preparation and consideration is required to ensure that Metaverse develops in a way that benefits everyone involved, and with identity at its core, these factors are more important than ever.