The Metaverse and Human rights

Tegnet illustrasjon av kvinner

When Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021, it gave new life to a concept known from science fiction. The Metaverse is the vision of a sensory and immersive virtual universe that will connect social media, games and 3D graphics. Tech companies invest heavily in the technology and, if we are to believe the research company Gartner, one in four people will spend at least one hour a day in the Metaverse by 2026.

This report is the result of a collaboration between the Norwegian Board of Technology and the Norwegian National Human Rights Institution (NIM). Both agencies are tasked with advising the Norwegian parliament (Storting) and other authorities, as well as providing information to the general public. The two institutions also experience significant thematic cross-over. Technology, law, ethics and policy are almost always closely intertwined.

Our shared ambition is to identify what the Metaverse is and what it may become, as well as what this could entail for people, society, politics and human rights. Technology develops at the speed of light, yet policies continue to lag behind. Although it remains uncertain what shape the Metaverse will take tomorrow, its potential implications for human rights should be discussed today. We hope that this report will stimulate discussions about the next generation of the internet and human rights in a virtual reality.

Read the report here: