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Oculus 'Always On' Services and Privacy Policy May Be a Cause for Concern (uploadvr.com) 96

Will Mason, reporting for Upload VR: It turns out when you install the software to run Facebook's Oculus Rift, it creates a process with full system permissions called "VRServer_x64.exe." This process is always on, and regularly sends updates back to Facebook's servers. The process' main purpose is to help detect when the Rift is turned on and on your face so that it can launch Oculus Home, but the further reaching implications of it are potentially much more salacious. Digging into the Oculus Rift's Privacy Policy reveals that Facebook is not the only company that is able to collect your data, as under the policy "third parties may also collect information about you through the Services," this includes entities on the "related companies" list. The company plans to utilize your data to, among other things, "market to you." Surprised?
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Oculus 'Always On' Services and Privacy Policy May Be a Cause for Concern

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  • by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @09:12AM (#51827575)
    Shocker. Glad people paid many hundreds of dollars for that privilege. Finally we can do away with 'if you're not paying for the product, you are the product' and bring in the new and improved 'you're always the product, even if you paid for it' business model.
    • It seems like the purpose of Facebook is to eradicate privacy, wherever it may be. Loneliness, and hate speech are to be eradicated by big Facebook.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Even better when people start disabling this background service only to later find their expensive toy no longer works thanks to this always on DRM.

    • This is precisely why I lost all interest in Oculus the instant I heard that it had been acquired by Facebook.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        this times a billion.

        i can't believe anyone thought it was going to turn out good with facebook owning it.
        you've gotta be fucking stupid to believe thats not going to turn into a shitshow.

        I fully expect within 5 years oculus will start doing something like 'watch this ad to continue playing your game with oculus'.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This, along with the insane costs, are why I never really batted much of an eye towards VR stuff even as it started to mature. After seeing facebook buy the rift, I knew exactly how it would end up.

        I'd fully expect the PS VR to do similar to be honest. And while I'll reserve judgement until I actually see it, Steam's Vive is probably going to do the same as well.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          This, along with the insane costs, are why I never really batted much of an eye towards VR stuff even as it started to mature. After seeing facebook buy the rift, I knew exactly how it would end up.

          Ditto. Then I discovered that these things combine the worst of two things that didn't succeed - Kinect and 3DTVs. I mean, people hated Kinect because it forced them off the couch, and it appears most VR games have you moving in a space, so you not only needed the space Kinect required, but you have to get off. O

      • This is precisely why I lost all interest in Oculus the instant I heard that it had been acquired by Facebook.

        Same here. It is why I am glad there are several competing devices that are due out as well. That said, I am really waiting on one that has a decent field of view.

      • Me [counts] four.

        I believe that it's alleged to do something for games. Since I play an Elite clone (from 1981 or 1982), Sudoku (16x16), and Sid Meier's Civilisation from 1991 ... I'm wondering what effect a Rift would have on these?

    • This isn't new. the last couple years, most new hardware, particularly stuff that connects to your phone or IoT devices are like this.

      fitness bands
      smart watches
      thermostats (like the Nest)
      ODB Readers
      Android OS/Windows 10

      Even though these devices could easily be managed so all data stays local, either on the device or on a smartphone, companies making them force all data to get uploaded to their servers so they "own" the data [fitbit in particular makes you pay an extra monthly fee to get access to the data

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. And now we see why Facebook actually bought Occulus.

  • They were recently giving these Oculus headsets away at the Sprint store with a new Samsung Galaxy phone purchase.

    They have 360 degree filming and viewing ability, and their entertainment value is only exceeded by their ability to gather information.

    There's no Santa, even Easter rabbits don't lay eggs, and Facebook isn't really free.

  • wait, what? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Someone signed up for Facebook is surprised that Facebook collects and sells their personal data? Really? That is literally how they make their money. It is the business they are in.

    By now it is well known: if you don't want that kind of harvesting, you don't use Facebook. That means: blocking their address blocks in your firewall, so you don't load their "like" buttons and you don't use their services in any way. You most certainly don't run their software on your machine! If you do that, well, yeah.

  • DO NOT BUY (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 02, 2016 @09:23AM (#51827589)

    The solution is simple. Do not buy this shit. And, tell your less technical friends. They are actively hostile to their would-be consumers. Just don't fucking buy it. In fact, outright spread the word that Occulus=scum.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      I'll wait until they support Linux and OSX [slashdot.org]

      • Oculus Rift is not the only VR option. I'm considering the HTC Vive, since they partnered with Valve, who seem more serious about Linux support than Oculus is.

  • Facebook is the worst thing that happened to Oculus.
  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Saturday April 02, 2016 @09:43AM (#51827673)

    I don't think that means what you think it means.

  • The exercise is now how to turn this into a device that YOU own.

    • But the hardware itself isn't even such a great step up from the previous prototypes/devkits, for example, the field-of-view seems to be lacking. [doc-ok.org]

      Besides, Linux support has been dropped and Windows 10 is now required.

      • It is hardware. Hardware needs an interface to communicate with software. Reverse engineering has been a staple of the industry ever since Turing broke the Enigma.

        Windows 10 is not required. Their software requires it, not the hardware.

  • You mean I might have to get an ad blocker for my Oculus rift O/S? How terrible...

    Jesus you guys are worse than Tipper Gore.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Morons who accept shit that's defective by design breed more shit that's defective by design.

      If it wasn't for morons like you we wouldn't have to use ad blockers at all, because there wouldn't be ads.

      We didn't used to have advertising on the Internet, until some fools thought there was actually such a thing as a free lunch.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Depending on what you're calling the 'net, there have pretty much always been ads on it. I'm not sure where that sentiment comes from - this mythical view of the past. Do you not remember the, "Call 555-1212 for the best BBS in town - best warez!" No? Probably not. You probably weren't there and are just parroting what you heard from a friend who heard it from a friend.

        Now, on the academic networks there weren't so many ads. However, there were still promotions. The first instance of UCE/spam was in somethi

  • Thought to myself the Rift is just a monitor stuffed with sensors. Surely I would be able to use it directly with third party software and avoid the inevitable facebook bullshit we all knew was coming. But noo... at the last f*cking second before release they did away with separate runtime downloads and make you install their shitstore + register an account before you even get access to the runtime.

    What is sad is how lame Oculus software is. They install very chatty poll happy windows services (managed co

  • Thank you for once again rehashing FB's data sharing policy.
    I'm sorry when the rest of the world found out that FB shares data and uses it for marketing, and how's how they fund the free web services you choose to use, you were on the toilet or picking your nose or something.

    Nothing to see here.

    P.S. "It turns out" is how you start a surprising conclusion to a story, not a an entire paragraph.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky