5 Minutes in VR – and you’re identified!

A recent study shows, that only 𝗳𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗩𝗥 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗳𝘆 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 with a high percentage. You don’t have to be logged in, authenticated, or somehow identified. Only your movements, the time pattern of your gestures, or the way you control your avatar is enough (see https://lnkd.in/euRE6xyw).
The authors show, that their system is able to identify an user with 95% accuracy out of a pool of 511 participants when trained less than 5 minutes.

This outlines, that our movements, behavior, actions and interactions in virtual spaces are not anonymous and can be used to inference our real identity. That’s kind of „Face-ID’ing you Avatar“ without knowing.

This is quite worrying and scary in ad least two perspectives:

1. 𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 in anonymous worlds
2. identification in 𝗩𝗥 𝗿𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝘅𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 and such contexts can easily be 𝗺𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗱 leading to wrong results.

In terms of education and public awareness, this is a hot topic to discuss! Also for vendors or virtual applications, this is an important finding on which various use cases could be built.

I’ll utilize the upcoming events in May, like the MEWS – The Metaverse Entertainment Worlds or Identiverse, to provide more insight and showcase possible solutions and will keep you updated here.