Key researchers:

Dawn Song

  Website

Vivek Nair

  Website

Gonzalo Munilla Garrido

  Website
Featured in:

Worried Your Phone Is Spying On You? Just Wait Until You’re In The Metaverse

“The study published last month by Garrido and Berkeley’s Dawn Song and Vivek Nair proves just how easy it is to rapidly and surreptitiously collect dozens of data points from VR users.”

Surprise! The metaverse is going to suck for privacy

“Through a 30-person study of VR usage, the researchers – Vivek Nair (UCB), Gonzalo Munilla Garrido (TUM), and Dawn Song (UCB) – created a framework for assessing and analyzing potential privacy threats.”

MetaData: Exploring the Unprecedented Privacy Risks of the Metaverse

2022  |  Vivek Nair · Gonzalo Munilla Garrido · Dawn Song  |  https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2207.13176

Thirty study participants playtested an innocent-looking "escape room" game in virtual reality (VR). Behind the scenes, an adversarial program had accurately inferred over 25 personal data attributes, from anthropometrics like height and wingspan to demographics like age and gender, within just a few minutes of gameplay. In this work, we illustrate how VR attackers can covertly ascertain dozens of personal data attributes from seemingly-anonymous users of popular metaverse applications…

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MetaGuard: Going Incognito in the Metaverse

2022  |  Vivek Nair · Gonzalo Munilla Garrido · Dawn Song  |  https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2208.05604

We present the first known method of implementing an "incognito mode" for VR. Our technique leverages local ε-differential privacy to quantifiably obscure sensitive user data attributes, with a focus on intelligently adding noise when and where it is needed most to maximize privacy while minimizing usability impact…

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