Ethical guidelines for metaverse issued by the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT

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SK Telecom's metaverse platform ifland [SK TELECOM]

SK Telecom’s metaverse platform ifland [SK TELECOM]

On Monday, the government announced a new set of non-binding ethical guidelines for metaverse services, on which their terms of use will have to be based.

The guidelines came from the Ministry of Science and ICT at a meeting of ministers at the Seoul Government Complex in downtown Seoul under the title “Metaverse Ethical Principles”. Built around three core values: genuine identity, safe experience and sustainable prosperity. guidelines aim to ensure that users can represent their true identities in a safe virtual world built with a sustainable system that is inclusive for all members.

Under the three pillars, another eight principles are established that are aimed at both the metaverse developers and users: authenticity, autonomy, reciprocity, respect for privacy, fairness, protection of personal information, inclusiveness and responsibility for the future.

For example, for authenticity, developers are recommended to allow users to portray themselves as close to their real selves as possible, and users are encouraged to try to understand the relationship between their egos in the virtual and real world.

Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of demands from the market and experts, on the rapid growth of metaverse platforms and possible crimes in the digital world with the lack of laws to regulate the newly created services.

Concerns have been raised about digital sexual crimes, fraud and data piracy, especially involving minors.

The guidelines are not legally binding, but were created in the hope of providing a code of conduct for metaverse users and managers to guide their actions, hence the broad terminology. A research team of 12 experts in ethics, data protection, law and technology participated in the analysis of a survey of 2,626 interviewees and other related data.

“The metaverse will expand and one day become part of our daily lives, including in commerce, education, medical services and more,” Park Yun-kyu, second vice minister of Science and ICT, said in a press release.

“The government will give its full support to ensure that people enjoy a safe metaverse with their genuine identity and that future generations ensure sustainable prosperity through the metaverse.”

Metaverse companies are also joining in to create more secure metaverse environments.

Naver Z, the operator of the Zepeto metaverse service, said Monday it has formed a security advisory board made up of nine outside members to create a secure environment for its users. The board will review all aspects related to user safety, including terms of use and technology. Zepeto has more than 340 million users around the world.

Last September, Naver Z joined the Tech Coalition, an alliance of technology companies around the world dedicated to fighting online child sexual abuse and exploitation.

BY YOON SO-YEON [[email protected]]

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