Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan
OECD Global Forum on Technology
Akimasa Yamashita, Vice Governor of Kyoto
Audrey Plonk, Head of Digital Economy Policy Division, OECD
Souichirou Kozuka, Professor of Law at Gakushuin University and Chair of the MIC's metaverse taskforce
Neil Trevett, Chairman Metaverse Standards Forum (remotely)
Pearse O’Donohue, Director, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) at the European Commission
Camila Leite Contri, Specialist at the Brazilian Consumer Protection Institute (IDEC)
Cagatay Pekyorur, Human Rights Policy Manager for the Africa, Middle East,
and Turkey region, META
Elizabeth Thomas-Raynaud, Global Forum on Technology Lead, OECD
Maria Castano, Project Manager, Global Forum on Technology, OECD
Hybrid Presentation and Q&A Session
Immersive technologies aim to create digital experiences that are more interactive, engaging, and realistic, with a greater degree of sensory immersion and spatial interaction, compared with other online experiences. A hallmark of this immersive technology is that it integrates with and blurs the boundaries between digital and physical experiences. In its role as host, Japan and fellow G7 Digital Ministers have identified the great potential of immersive technologies, and interconnected, interactive, virtual worlds, such as the metaverse to provide innovative opportunities in all industrial and societal sectors and to promote sustainability. Much like the Internet, Metaverse requires shared standards and protocols to work effectively, with attention to ensuring interoperability and portability. To pursue these opportunities, the governance, public safety, and human rights challenges will require cooperation at the global level. The Government of Japan and the OECD Global Forum on Technology are convening this multistakeholder session on to consider approaches that can drive the responsible innovation and implementation of immersive technologies, such as the metaverse.
Some speakers will participate online.
The session “Pursuing a metaverse based on democratic values” was a joint session organised by the OECD Global Forum on Technology (GFTech) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan.
During the session, speakers talked about their respective efforts and views in pursuing a values-based approach to the development of the metaverse. The main priorities identified were inclusion, sustainability, privacy, security, openness and interoperability.
Throughout the discussions, technical and political issues were identified in particular:
- Trust and safety around avatars and digital identity
- Protection of rights, including commercial intellectual property rights
- Portability to allow users and assets to move freely across the metaverse
- Data governance
- Health, addressing potential harms of overuse to protect vulnerable populations such as children
There was strong alignment that the borderless nature of virtual spaces makes global cooperation between governments, business, technical communities and civil society essential. Finally, regional considerations and differences need to be taken into account, particularly noting that accessibility differences present unique challenges and considerations. Bottom-up processes for values alignment and needs assessment of SMEs, as the example of the Kyoto Local Government Principles, provide important perspectives to be factored in national and international policy approaches.
This panel was a great starting point to continue this conversation in the coming months. The OECD Global Forum on Technology looks forward to carrying on the dialogue through the activities on the Immersive Technology area. The recording of the session is available on the GFTech webpage: https://oe.cd/gftech