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Senator Al Franken questions Oculus' data collection, calls for transparency

"Consumers must be able to make informed decisions about whether and with whom then share such sensitive information."

In an open letter to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, the U.S. senator for Minnesota, Al Franken, has called for the company to be transparent with Rift customers about how it intends to use the "sensitive" location, personal, and sharing data it’s currently harvesting.

Franken notes that, in addition to collecting information willingly handed over by consumers, Oculus is also gathering up data relating to their location and physical movements; data that can “be shared with other companies that are within the family of related companies that Oculus is a part of.” 

The senator is also concerned by Oculus’ privacy statement, which suggests the company may share "de-idenfitied or aggregated with others for any purpose, and is keen to hear precisely how the Facebook-owned virtual reality outfit intends to protect and use consumer data. 

"When done appropriately, the collection, storage, and sharing of personal information may enhance consumers’ virtual reality experience, but we must ensure that American’s very sensitive information is protected," wrote Franken. 

"Consumers must be able to make informed decisions about whether and with whom then share such sensitive information […] however, questions remain regarding Oculus’ data collection of certain types of information and its relationships with third parties."

Franken wants Iribe to answer six questions to prove the validity of Oculus' data collecting, sharing, and retention habits, and is expecting a response no later than May 13. 

You can read the letter in full by clicking right here.

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