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Danger lurks everywhere, even on social media, games, and anywhere online. This is why tech companies don’t stop their efforts to educate the youth about online safety, especially now that the virtual world keeps on expanding and being more accessible by all ages. One proof is the Meta’s Horizon Worlds being occupied by a large number of young users, as reported by adults using the app. This is where the problems start with limited supervision from parents as their children explore a world that could be exploited by predators. With this, Meta adds parental supervision tools to its Meta Quest VR headset… after almost three years of releasing its first virtual reality headsets.
After some issues about social media’s impact on kids and teens (which the White House plans to address) and the concern of the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office of Meta’s VR headsets possibly breaching its online children’s safety code, Meta is under the pressure of establishing a safe virtual world for the youth. It led to the delivery of parental supervision tools.
Meta has already started doing some actions to tackle the problems gradually. In April, the American multinational technology conglomerate will begin rolling out the lock feature for apps, allowing parents to limit their children’s access in using the Quest headsets. After this, Meta will set age requirements in May for apps that are inappropriate for children. However, some express their concern about its efficiency since age validation will only occur using the Facebook accounts linked to the Facebook accounts. According to some, this can be a loophole if the children are using an account associated with their parent’s login.
Meanwhile, it introduced the Family Center on March 16, where parents can access supervision tools available on Instagram. It promises to roll out the said feature on VR in May. Meta will also launch an initial suite of tools in its Parent Dashboard in the same month.
“Our initial suite of parental supervision tools, which includes a Parent Dashboard accessible from the Oculus mobile app, will allow parents to link to their teen’s account via a process initiated by the teen and with consent from both sides,” Meta states in its blog post. “This is just a starting point, informed by collaboration with industry experts, and we’ll continue to grow and evolve our parental supervision tools over time.”
According to Meta, this will allow parents to have better control over their children’s virtual activity. It includes approving the teen’s download or purchase of an app, blocking specific apps, viewing all of the apps their teen owns, receiving Purchase Notifications, viewing headset screen time, viewing their teen’s list of Oculus Friends, and blocking Link and Air Link.