Oculus records your movements and other data while using its app.
In a letter addressed to Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, Franken pushed for more information about how, exactly, Oculus is using all of the data it collects. “I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy,” Franken wrote. “And that right includes an individual’s access to information about what data are being collected about them, how the data are being treated, and with whom the data are being shared.”
As Ars Technica points out, Oculus isn’t collecting much more than most technology companies, aside from the physical movements of the headset. That’s the sort of data we’d probably want the company to have, as it’ll help refine how its head tracking technology works. But it’s also worth having Facebook and Oculus clarify what its headset is tracking when you’re not wearing it (there’s no off button, so it’s always sitting in a semi-ready state).
Perhaps Oculus might be able to add a “privacy mode” that keeps its app from recording what you’re doing, but I can’t imagine security advocates would put much faith in that. It might end up limiting the sort of data the Oculus Rift server app collects — right now it’s always on, even if you’re not using the Rift. For now, data collection is just something you’ll have to live with if you want to experience Oculus’s spin on virtual reality.