Extended Reality (XR) technologies are powered by the interplay of multiple sensors, large volumes and types of data, and various algorithms and automatic systems. These advanced technologies will enable more immersive user experiences. However, these technologies often depend on sensitive personal information, and the collection, processing, and transfer of this data to other parties may pose privacy and data protection risks to both users and bystanders. VUB addresses the legal and ethical issues of the SUN project, it aims to provide a legal and ethical framework for the safe development of related technologies while guarantee the protection of fundamental rights of individuals involved. Key risks of XR technologies include:
– Privacy issue. SUN project applies digital technologies including 3D acquisition, human-machine interaction, real-time monitoring, etc. These technologies collect, process, and share large quantities of data about users’ bodies and environments. This data could be used to make inferences about peoples’ private lives, such as their sexual orientation or health conditions.
– Data protection issue. The collection of an unprecedented amount of data from inside and outside XR devices makes it a moving data bank. It raises concerns about whether the personal data of XR system is fully protected from the interference of users’ private life and misuse by unauthorized third parties.
– Ethical issue. Ethical concerns in can arise out of different factors and their combinations: use of new technologies, their acceptance by the society and trust; providing healthcare with limited resources to make fully informed and autonomous decisions; the necessity to balance between different fundamental rights and vital interests of different groups of people. Hence, VUB aims to provide an overview of the legal, ethical, and societal issues and requirements that will apply to all pilots of the SUN Project. It will ensure legal and ethical regulatory compliance, including but not limited to the European Data Protection Framework and Medical Device Regulation. In this task, the legal and ethical issues applicable to the project will be elicited in a broad sense. It will include inter alia:
– The data protection framework includes (but is not limited to) the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As far as possible, key national provisions linked to data protection will also be considered.
– The ethical requirements incumbent upon the SUN platform in general, including the use of data envisaged in the pilots with the contexts foreseen. Examples in Member States Laws, which are represented at pilot sites, include social/ethical responsibility, fundamental rights, data protection, and privacy.