In late 2020 Meta began requiring the use of Facebook accounts for all new users of its Oculus headsets, the culmination of a trend of deeper integration between Oculus products and Facebook services. Although the company is soon planning to only require a ‘Meta Account’ to use Quest, the company is likely to continue tracking similar things and offer similar privacy settings. Here’s a look at what privacy settings are currently offered to you and what data Meta collects on your VR usage.

Updated – July 25th, 2022

Where to Find Oculus Quest 2 Privacy Settings

Although there’s not a lot of customization of privacy settings available right now, at least Meta makes them easy to change. In fact, you can do it right now from your web browser by checking out the Oculus Privacy Center and then scrolling down to Privacy Settings.

Here what you can control and what each option does:

Who will see your activity on Oculus?

This controls how your current activity in VR is displayed on your profile (like which app you’re using). If you don’t want anyone to know what you’re currently up to in VR, change this to ‘Only Me’.

Who can see your friends list on Oculus?

This controls who can see your list of VR friends through your Oculus profile. If you don’t want anyone to see who your VR friends are, change this to ‘Only Me’.

Who will see your Facebook name on Oculus?

This controls which name people will see associated with your Oculus profile. Depending upon your setting, people may see your Oculus username or the first and last name of your Facebook profile. This also controls whether or not people can search for your Oculus profile by your Facebook name. If you don’t want anyone to see your real name in VR or be able to find your Oculus profile with your real name, change this to ‘Only Me’.

Who can receive push notifications to know when you’re active in VR and your activity?

This controls whether your friends can get notifications about what you’ve done recently in VR, like whether you tried a new game for the first time or got a new achievement. If you don’t want anyone to be able to get notifications about you regarding these kinds of activities, change this to ‘Only Me.’

There’s one other key setting you can change: whether or not Meta stores recordings of your voice captured by the Voice Commands feature; by default any time you use Voice Commands, a voice recording of the command will be stored on Meta’s servers.

You can only disable this option from within your headset, here’s how:

  1. In your headset, click on the clock in the Oculus menu bar to open Quick Actions, then click the Settings button at the top right (gear icon).
  2. In the Settings section select ‘System’
  3. In the System menu, select ‘Voice Commands’
  4. In the Voice Commands menu, select ‘Voice Storage’
  5. In the Voice Storage menu, switch off the ‘Store Voice Commands’ and ‘Store Transcripts’ options

How to See What Data Meta Has Collected About Your VR Usage

Image courtesy Meta

Meta stores information about what you do in VR for various purposes, including basic account functionality (like knowing which games you’ve purchased), and advertising (like showing you an ad in your Facebook feed for Oculus games you recently searched for in your headset).

You can see a fairly comprehensive list of the data associated with your Oculus account by accessing the View Your Information section of the Oculus Privacy Center. Here’s the overview of what’s shown there:

  • Profile Information
    • Real Name
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Username
    • Email Address
    • Avatar 2D Image
    • Profile Photo
  • Other Information About You
    • Language
    • Current and Past Profile Photos
  • Information About Your Account
    • Account Creation Time
    • Account Creation Source
    • Account Status
    • Your Apps and Content
    • Subscribed Events
    • Apps
    • Sent gifts
    • Recently Viewed Items
    • In-app Entitlements
    • Sent application invite
    • Received application invites
    • Achievements
    • Named Rooms
    • Cloud Saves
    • Cloud Saves v2
    • Challenges Admined
    • Challenges Participated In
  • Your Ratings and Reviews
  • Information About Your Devices
    • Online Status History
    • Oculus Home Status
    • Device Sharing (setting)
    • Devices
    • VR Device Sync Data
  • Your Settings and Preferences
    • Who can see the apps you own and their activity (setting)
    • Notification preferences (setting)
    • Allow non-Oculus apps (setting)
    • Incognito Mode (setting)
    • Who can see your Facebook name on Oculus (setting)
    • Who can recieve push notifications to see when you’re available in VR (setting)
    • Who can see your friends list (setting)
    • Who can see your activity (setting)
    • Email Subscriptions
    • Interests
    • Single sign-on developers
  • Social Connections
    • Following (people you follow on Horizon)
    • Followers (people who follow you on Horizon)
  • Friends
  • Security and Login Information
    • Active Sessions
    • Location History
    • Login History
    • App Presence Activity
  • Rift Home Information
    • Last Login
    • Total Homes
    • Active Homes
    • Item Uploads
    • Place Uploads
    • Your Items
  • Your Voice Activities

Can Facebook See Video From Quest’s Cameras?

As for what’s seen through Quest’s on-board cameras, Meta has told us previously that it does not send any video or scans from the camera to its servers, though it didn’t rule out the possibility in the future. Indeed, Meta doesn’t show any camera-related information in its list of information that it has about your account.

Your VR Data and Facebook Data May Be Cross-referenced

The list further above is the data Meta captures about your VR use, but if you’re using Quest 2, your VR data is inherently associated with data collected by Meta on your non-VR activity via Facebook. Thus it’s also worth looking over that information to know what kind of data will potentially be used to influence your activity in VR.

You can find the data Meta has collected on your non-VR activities by visiting the Access Your Information page on Facebook.

The Fine Print

If you want to dig in deeper to understand what Facebook legally says about its collection and usage of your data, here are the key documents that lay out the company’s position:

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Ad

    Does this include in application telemetry? The entire first part is privacy from friends, not from facebook. But remind people they can opt out of the class action arbitration clause too for the next few weeks.

    • Jules Letellier

      It doesn’t need to share with Facebook. It is Facebook. Same company, they share data. That is what is so confusing about all this.

      • Ad

        My point is that even Apple says “you’re private because we don’t have your data,” while facebook says “you’re private because your friends don’t have your data.”

        • Jules Letellier

          My point is, Facebook owns Oculus. Everything you do there, with out without a Facebook account, they own. It’s the nature of all business. Grow up.

          • Ad

            Yeah I’m glad the feds are suing them, hopefully they’ll kill off Facebook Reality Labs. Game over, grow up.

    • jimmy

      You are impressively stupid

      • It seems to me that it might be you who is impressively stupid, at least based on what he said vs what you said.

  • Onikaze

    digging through the info I’m trying to discern where the “psychograph” is that they will combine with time spent looking at thing x along with my biometric data to control me?

    actually looks fairly benign can we get a contrast and compare with the info google has on us? how about sony and microsoft. maybe even valve?

    • Stefan

      That impression results from this very lacking article. Just follow the link to the supplemental privacy policy. It’s full of agreement to biometric data collection.

  • Stefan

    Facebook privacy terms (not device specific) explicitly mention camera input as an example of data collected. So I wouldn’t bet on your list being complete.

    • Terrifying. When will there be a world class action law suit work millions of users all suing meta for our data back and all funds it generated!? They can buy our data and pay us or we opt out. But they’ve become so rich and powerful off our backs…our ignorance. And in this case I think our ignorance isn’t an excuse when building a new society. They’ve had their fun now they need to be transparent and held accountable for all past present and future transgressions.

      • Natalie Hill

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      • Charles

        God, I f’ing hate Facebook and Google’s terrible “art” style they’ve both adopted in recent years. All the people have grotesque proportions, and are clearly intended to look like “women who look like men” and “men who look like women”. Intentionally, as has been admitted by the person who invented this “art” style.

        • Jonathan Winters III

          It’s all part of the “de-genderization” trend in avatars / movies / TV etc. Make men less manly, make women more manly. Why is it happening? Who knows. It’s gross.

          • asdsad

            Please confirm the name of this art style.

          • Warscent

            It’s simply called woke. Woke artists delivering a woke style via the NWO Marxism directive .

          • Max-Dmg

            Yep, the world is fuc*ed now lol. It’s cringy to try and watch new tv shows and films.

        • Curious

          Do you know the name of the art style?

          • Charles

            It’s variously referred to as Corporate Art Style, Big Tech Art Style, Globohomo Art Style, and Corporate Memphis.

        • Max-Dmg

          It worked for Picasso didn’t it? :P

          • Charles

            Haha, not quite the same style.

        • Mel

          Is this your way of referring to the Transgender Community? From what we can see from the conversation between what looks like boys/men in this thread the “Art” as you call it shouldn’t bother you and if it does why? You all need to get WOKE as in realizing that you pass many people and chat with many and try and add the very “Art” you all find so offensive. Actually very funny from where we are sitting.

    • Sven Viking

      Carmack said they don’t have access to actual camera footage (which he says would have been useful for training eye tracking systems), although that may not mean the legal terms forbid it.

      • Stefan

        They might have not, but they still reserve the right to do so, so I suppose they could change that without notifying users.

      • Max-Dmg

        Facebook have denied alot of things but did it anyway. They lie then don’t care when found out, they can afford to pay lawsuits.

    • namekuseijin

      I imagine Meta trying to sell this important physical movement data to their partners: “in this graph you can see this box-chopping player often get their muscle strained and this is a nice opportunity for our muscle pain pills partners…”

    • Max-Dmg

      Facebook up to their usualy tricks to steal data sneakily lol. They will never change, everyone should expect them to take unwanted data and be vague about what they are taking to trick people. Just as they do with facebook. And they will probably reset the settings to default now and then without anyone knowing. Use the quest with the expectation that the are taking data that you don’t want them to have.

  • Psychometrics

    I have a Rift S I purchased at the beginning of the year, so I’m going to ride out my Oculus account for as long as I can. But I did look at the supplemental privacy policy as some have suggested. I found something interesting if you are a California resident. Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), you can request to have Facebook delete your personal information. Furthermore, the CCPA is said to protect the consumer from discrimination if one wishes to have his or her information deleted. You can bet I’ll have the delete page bookmarked and used every time I use my Rift when the time comes that I have to use my FB account.

  • At least there is not an entry that records every time that we use SLR. Or at least I hope so :D

    • Sven Viking

      “Recently Viewed Items” and “App Presence Activity”?

  • Jonathan Winters III

    They can have all that info as far as I care! I got a fantastic headset and controllers for $299. If data mining becomes an issue, I’ll deal with it then. Also, lets be honest – there’s no such thing as privacy anymore – don’t be fooled and think your privacy is safe.

    • CHEASE

      What a stupid self fulfilling prophecy it is to say there is no privacy. Not if everyone is as spineless a shill as you.

      • PQ5 .

        you are wrong.

        • CHEASE

          good argument

      • I think they’re right it that doesn’t make it right. There is little to no privacy but I didn’t agree to that and that’s not healthy and that could all change over night of we demanded it. We need to accept that the past was the past and meta got rich and powerful off our ignorance and they’ve abused our trust countless times proving themselves corrupt and incompetent. So not it’s time for a change. A complete overhaul of how data is taken (stolen). I’ll work with fb but right now they’re working against us and using our own data to do so. That must stop. The future is what we want it to be despite what meta and their shills lie.

      • Jonathan Winters III

        Oh brave man – you’d never say this to my face. Watch your words.

        • CHEASE

          The fact that I would never say it to your face doesn’t make it any less true – it just means I don’t want to get in fights with crazy people

    • Wow… just wow.

  • Gregory11

    Utopia Ecosystem is the best way to have proper cyber protection!

  • I hate all this.. not the excellent article but meta Facebook and their endless bs which has made them so rich and powerful off our data. They’re nothing more than poorly dressed data pirates! I’m really looking forward to a rival quest 2 so I can give them my business instead. Also we must ensure it never becomes the metaverse. It must be anything but connected to meta fb Fzuckerberg evil empire. Maybe… the matrix? Or innerverse Or vrscape or vrverse or virtual reality or oasis haha anything but meta.

    • Charles

      Facebook is trying to become IOI from Ready Player One.

  • guest

    The defaults are not ‘Only Me’. Is it only me that ever checks the settings???

    • Sven Viking

      Yeah “Only Me” wasn’t the default for me either.

  • Sven Viking

    Ad mined?

    Oh, “Admined” as in “Administrated” :).

  • Max-Dmg

    “Who can receive push notifications to know when you’re active and your activity?” – Only me.

    So you get notifications to yourself when you are active and notifications to yourself about all your activity?
    Is this constant notifications to yourself whiile using the headset?