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17 Jun, 2023
1 min time to read

The move, set to take effect later this year, aims to expand the audience for the popular VR devices.

However, it has sparked concerns about safety and health implications for younger users.

To ensure child safety, Meta will introduce parent-controlled accounts, requiring parental approval for setting up accounts, downloading apps, and blocking access to certain software. The company emphasizes the implementation of strict privacy controls, promising age-appropriate app store experiences and no targeted ads for children.

Meta sees this as an opportunity to enhance education by offering virtual science lessons and educational games for younger users. Since many educational games are already available on the store, Meta believes there will be enough content for children ages 10 and up.

While Meta's policies align with COPPA regulations, which govern online privacy protection for children, concerns remain. VR apps, particularly those with social features, can expose young users to potential risks such as harassment and abuse. Meta acknowledges the challenge of monitoring user interactions within third-party apps and ensuring a safe environment.

There are also concerns about the potential health impact of VR headset use on children. Optometrists warn of potential eye and neck strain, particularly for kids with smaller bodies and developing eyes. Research on the effects of VR on depth perception and focusing in children is still limited, leaving uncertainties about its long-term impact.

The technology isn't definitively dangerous for kids, but it's not guaranteed to be safe, either.