Oculus makes Facebook accounts mandatory, and this is controversial

In this week’s edition of 2020 is Consistently The Worst, the VR company has decided that from October, new Oculus users will require a Facebook account and support for unlinked accounts expires in 2023.

Although perhaps not exactly unexpected since Oculus was acquired by Facebook in 2014, the policy update has become a subject of instant dispute on the internet – and not just because some people don’t have or want a Facebook account, but also because of the potential implications for those who do. What if a user’s Facebook account is subsequently banned, for example? And that’s besides the obvious problem of data privacy and your secret VR porn games.

According to the announcement on the Oculus website:

Starting in October 2020:

  • Everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account.

  • If you are an existing user and already have an Oculus account, you will have the option to log in with Facebook and merge your Oculus and Facebook accounts.

  • If you are an existing user and choose not to merge your accounts, you can continue using your Oculus account for two years.

Starting in January 2023:

  • We will end support for Oculus accounts.

  • If you choose not to merge your accounts at that time, you can continue using your device, but full functionality will require a Facebook account.

  • We will take steps to allow you to keep using content you have purchased, though some games and apps may no longer work. This could be because they require a Facebook account or because a developer has chosen to no longer support the app or game you purchased.

In theory, Oculus users could link to an empty Facebook account, but one, an empty Facebook account is still a Facebook account, and two, Facebook can detect and delete empty Facebook accounts, and three, even an empty Facebook account is sucking up data including your IP, device, location, and browser info so it’s not actually a real solution anyway.

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