Important Oculus Privacy Updates

Oculus Blog
Posted by Jenny Hall and Max Cohen
April 19, 2018

Update: On October 11, 2020, we updated the Oculus Privacy Policy and introduced the Supplemental Oculus Data Policy. Both policies reflect that Facebook is now responsible for the Oculus platform and Oculus users’ information. We had previously announced that, starting in October 2020, existing users with Oculus accounts will have the option to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts or continue using their Oculus account for two years. Everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. The Oculus Privacy Policy applies to users who log into their Oculus device using their Oculus Account. The Supplemental Oculus Data Policy applies to users who log into their Oculus device using their Facebook account. When you log into your Oculus device using a Facebook account, Facebook will use your Oculus and Facebook information to provide, personalize and improve your experience across Facebook Products, including to show you ads. Click here to learn more.

Update: On December 11, 2019, we updated the Oculus Privacy Policy to include information about what happens when you choose to log into Facebook from the Oculus Platform. We also announced that people who choose to log into Facebook on Oculus will have access to a new suite of social features powered by Facebook and that for logged in users we will share data with Facebook to personalize content and inform ads they see. Click here to learn more.

As we continue to build the future of VR and AR, it’s our responsibility to help you understand what information Oculus collects, how it’s used, and how we keep it safe. With the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect this May, we’re taking the opportunity to provide new tools and information for the global Oculus community. These changes include:

  • A new My Privacy Center that includes tools to view your information and download the data you’ve shared with Oculus—launching on May 20
  • Updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy that will be available April 20 with a more detailed explanation and real-world examples of how Oculus uses your information to create a better VR experience for you
  • Adding the Code of Conduct to our official Terms to provide increased visibility of our commitment to create a safe VR environment for all people

Centralized Privacy Info and Access

My Privacy Center is a new, centralized location where you can easily learn about your privacy settings and manage your communications preferences. You’ll get access to new tools that let you see the information we’ve collected that’s associated with your Oculus account and easily download a data file of the information you’ve shared with Oculus so you can take it with you.

Oculus Terms of Service and Privacy Policy Updates

Our updated Privacy Policy that goes live tomorrow now includes more real-world examples and details about how we use data to personalize your experience on the Oculus platform and deliver social features like Oculus Rooms, as well as how we share data with the Facebook Companies. You’ll also see more explanation about how we work with developers to help them build safe communities and contribute to a healthy and diverse VR ecosystem.

As we look toward the future and the exciting work being done in research, we’re expanding our Terms of Service beyond VR to include AR products.

Our Commitment

We are building the future of VR and AR, and it’s our responsibility to tell people how we use their information for our products and for their VR experience. Today’s updates are about providing more transparency.

We’ve put together an FAQ, collecting answers to some of the top questions we hear about how we handle information and protect your privacy.

Quick Privacy FAQ

We collect information that’s needed to deliver amazing VR experiences that are safe, comfortable, and seamless. Oculus has its own distinct Privacy Policy because we think it’s important to be transparent with the community about the information we collect that’s specific to VR.

Here are some examples of information we collect from you: The name, email address, and phone number you provide us; the people, content, and experiences you connect to and interact with; and the hardware you’re using. The View Your Information and Download Your Information tools will let you view and/or download the information that’s associated with your Oculus account so you can see this information yourself and take it with you.

We also collect some physical features and dimensions (like the height you provide us when setting up your Rift) and movement information that we need to make VR apps work. This information is necessary to deliver an immersive and realistic VR experience. Movement information is de-identified in our storage systems and cannot be associated with your account, while height information is only stored on your device and not on our servers.

What information do you share with Facebook?

We share limited information with Facebook to improve your experience in and outside of VR. For example, if an Oculus account is flagged for spam or abuse, we can share that with Facebook so appropriate action is taken on both platforms. Also, if you choose to link your Facebook and Oculus accounts, you can share screenshots from VR directly in News Feed and message friends across platforms.

Do you use Facebook data to personalize my experience on the Oculus Platform?

You have the option to link your Facebook and Oculus accounts to enjoy a more seamless and integrated experience. For example, when you link your accounts, your Facebook friends who have Oculus accounts and have also chosen to link their accounts will be added to your Oculus friend list. We may also use the interests you’ve chosen to share on your Facebook profile to suggest VR content we think you’d enjoy.

Is my Oculus data used to target ads to me on Facebook?

We don’t share data with Facebook that would allow third parties to target advertisements based on your use of the Oculus Platform.

Do the View Your Information and Download Your Information tools show me all of my data?

You’ll be able to access information that’s directly associated with your Oculus account. There are a few instances where we don’t include information, for very specific reasons. These include:

  • De-identified information: We de-identify some information in our storage systems, so it's not associated with your account (for example, movement and position information).
  • Information stored on your device: There is information that is stored only on the client device and not on our servers (for example, the height you provide).
  • Information we need to protect: We don’t share specific things for security reasons, such as your credit card number to prevent it from being improperly accessed, as well as proprietary information.

What information do you share with developers and other third parties?

We provide information to help developers on our platform deliver and improve their apps. For example, we share the real-time current position of headset and controllers, which allows developers to translate movements into the virtual world. We also may share part of your Friend List with apps (but only those friends who also use the same app) so that you don’t have to create a new Friend List for each app.

Through our dashboard, developers can track aggregated metrics like app performance, installs, and revenue. In March 2018, we launched new PC and Mobile Hardware Reports, which provide developers with ecosystem-level metrics (also aggregated and anonymized) to help them optimize and build better VR experiences. For example, when you activate our Guardian System, the boundary information not only helps us keep you safe in VR, it also helps us understand the average play area people have at their disposal, which can in turn inform better level design.

We have explicit terms with all of our developers that cover how they can use data they collect about people on our platform. We periodically audit our systems to determine if there’s evidence of nefarious activity across our platform, and we take action accordingly.

What happens to my information if I delete my account?

When you delete your account, we remove it from our servers (it may take up to 90 days to make sure everything is deleted). We do retain some information in our logs; for example, we are required to retain certain purchase information even after you delete your account to comply with local laws and regulations around the world, such as tax or financial reporting requirements.

Why do you de-identify some data and not others? How do you decide what data should be de-identified?

Maintaining your privacy while ensuring the best possible experience drives this decision. Some data, like positional and movement tracking, is necessary for your Oculus hardware to function properly, but after it’s processed for that purpose it’s de-identified because we don’t need it to be tied to your account anymore. Other data associated with you and your interactions with others across the platform is not de-identified since it helps tailor your individual experience and lets you use services like matchmaking, the Oculus Store, and customer support.

What movement and environment data do you collect?

We collect the necessary movement and environment data required to deliver an immersive VR experience that is safe, comfortable, and seamless across apps. This could include the gestures you make with controllers or changes in your orientation, as well as the Guardian play space boundaries you provide us with. For example, in an app that lets you view 360° videos, the app needs to know which direction you’re facing in order to ensure the best possible viewing experience. Once this data is processed for its express purpose (ie: to make the app work), it's de-identified in our systems and not associated with your account.

Why Now?

In light of the GDPR changes in the EU, we’re taking the opportunity to update the global Oculus community about the information we collect and how we use that information.

We’re thankful for our VR community and look forward to building the future together.