Since Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the metaverse in October 2021, different world-renowned companies such as Gucci, Nike, J.P. Morgan, McDonald's, and Hyundai, among others, have found in it a new investment and positioning sector for their brands. According to estimates, this new 3D virtual economy will represent a global market of 2.5 trillion dollars by 2030.
The metaverse aims at allowing us to interact in the same way as in the real world. Through an avatar that represents us, we will be able to buy, sell, travel, interact, and even get a job.
The metaverse is a social, technological and, above all, legal revolution. The different governments and their control bodies must be ready for the legal challenges that exist and that may arise in order to protect the rights of the users that converge in this new virtual world.
One of the most important challenges of this new virtual reality is privacy and the protection of personal data. As we increasingly move our lives into the digital world, the risks to our data are becoming more and more critical. These questions arise: Who protects our personal information? Who is responsible for a security breach? How do I remove my personal data from the metaverse?
The metaverse is a platform that stores an inordinate amount of information and, moreover, treats personal data in a way we have never seen before. The loss of control over our data can lead to inappropriate treatment of our personal information by the companies that handle it and by third parties with whom this data is shared.
Another very important legal challenge to take into consideration is intellectual property rights. Many brands have bet on this new digital market. However, we have noticed that the very characteristics that make the metaverse attractive, such as anonymity and widespread decentralisation, can lead to widespread imitation and infringement of this right.
That being said, is there a legal link to the metaverse? To date, there is no specific regulation governing the risks and legal liabilities that may arise in this new virtual world. Current regulations need to adapt to the new changes and needs of the digital society. What we can say is that there won’t be just one law regulating the metaverse; but as many as needed to regulate this new digital era.
This blog was written by Eduardo Linares Yabar, Senior Lawyer, Corporate Governances & Compliance, ONTIER Peru
For all questions regarding the topics raised in this blog, please contact Eduardo or a member of our team of digital asset legal experts.