Facebook’s Project Aria Takes Important Step Toward Establishing Data Collection Best Practices in the AR Industry, Says ITIF

September 16, 2020

WASHINGTON—In response to today’s announcement that Facebook Reality Labs is launching “Project Aria,” an augmented reality (AR) research project to begin collecting real-world data using camera- and sensor-enabled headsets on Facebook campuses, ITIF Research Fellow Ellysse Dick released the following statement:

Facebook’s Project Aria launches privacy to the forefront of AR research and shows how companies can bring transparency and open engagement to the earliest stages of technology design. With proactive measures aimed at protecting participant and bystander privacy from the outset, the project represents a first step toward establishing AR industry-wide standard practices for data collection.

These measures demonstrate that companies can integrate privacy, transparency, and open engagement into the earliest stages of technology design. Research projects like this will create a much-needed base of knowledge to develop and deploy future AR products safely, securely, and equitably.

Many of the companies building AR have already learned important lessons about privacy and security, and the regulatory environment today looks significantly different than it did a decade ago. Projects like this will allow researchers to study and mitigate privacy and security risks well before this technology that has the potential to change the way people work, connect, and experience the world becomes widely adopted by the public.

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