With Quest 1, which had a separate account system, I would frequently show off the headset by letting people try it on. With Quest 2, anyone who tries it on would have full access to my Facebook account and Messenger history, so I can't do that. And no, they don't give you any sort of warning about this, you have to figure it out yourself.
(I reported this to their bug bounty program on October 26. The submission was rejected as a duplicate. I rechecked today and it was still not fixed.)
But, you might say, what if they can't afford to get their own Oculus? Facebook, aren't you just limiting your own audience by having this policy? Trust us, we've thought of everything.
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If you are really concerned about your "real-life identity" I'd recommend not publishing it in a service that is made for public consumption
Optical drives haven’t been standard issue in PCs for a while now.
I suspect that its more a case that they literally haven't thought about it.
I, at least, would assume that that would be considered a basic/essential feature.
Whoops. We got so excited about the pool table and the bar and the reception area that we forgot the only thing that makes a restaurant actually a restaurant... a place to cook food.
There's a reason I work in IT and not architecture these days :)
That doesn't mean the company's "collective mind" thought about it, however.
much as it is trendy, you really have to think past the binary $company good/evil argument.
My argument is as follows:
1) there is no logout button for your oculus account. Its not a flow that already exists. You need to factory-reset your device to log out.
2) the team that was put in charge of linking FB accounts to oculus are not the same team that owns the home screen gui.
3) working between teams is a hard problem
4) adding a logout flow is a boat load of work, because the rift os was never designed to do logging out, because why would you need to log out of an oculus device, barring cockups?
Personally I think its a mistake to force linking accounts. I can see why they want it, it makes future multiplayer and AR integrations better.
That aside, I agree that yes, organizations should be held to a higher standard than they have been.
If the product heads haven't given thought to this despite being more than aware of the current anti-trust environment, then they're just incompetent.
For immediate necessities like a car or mobile phone I get it, but a VR headset isn't a necessity. Own later instead of financing. You might even be able to buy used at half price in 12 months.
Fighting its own lonely battle against Covid. /s
Anything but cynicism regarding this product is w-e-i-r-d.
Oculus is a small example, but I shouldn't be forced to have one to be notified of my town council meetings, for instance. I realize now that the way the open web died was FB making it super easy to create walled off websites for people, vs real websites.
For a few years I ran a successful business in my small-but-bustling town of using the Facebook Events API to pull in all the events in the area and putting them on a single calendar, then pushing those events back to my business's Facebook page before the event started. At that point everyone in town can either visit my website or follow my Facebook page, and now they have one central place to get all the town's news. I could never convince business owners to put all their events on my site directly, because "our audience is all on Facebook already" but people would have to follow a couple dozen pages and check them each individually (because Facebook won't show you everything you've followed).
Facebook eventually shut down that API (with no notice, against their own SLAs) and I kept scraping the data by hand because the residents and the businesses found it so useful. Then the pandemic hit and these small businesses had no money to pay me and they weren't holding events anymore anyway. But even after we're done with the pandemic I doubt I'll be picking it back up because Facebook is an abusive business partner to begin with, and the people you're then forced to interact with on Facebook are some of the worst and most toxic human beings I've ever met. I've had death threats from my own neighbors because an event I advertised was sold out. I've had Facebook followers stop me on the street and complain to me about taxes and zoning because they can't tell the difference between a news outlet and the city government.
But it really does highlight that Facebook is meeting a demand that nothing else, not email or RSS or SMS or anything has been able to meet. It's just a shame that they're the worst possible company to make a social network that you'd actually want to interact with.
Game purchases are per user account not per device, which means you'd need to redownload any games anyway? It not really set up with the same kind of simplicity an Xbox or Playstation has as far as account tracking goes.
Its not really an excuse but I could see why there are problems to solve with it and they might have just deprioritized it. You can still wipe and re-login and re-download but that's a pain.
Maybe they'll add a guest mode or something.
You can do that. I literally did it 2 weeks ago, when I was giving away my Quest 1 headset to someone. Was a pretty smooth and simple process.
I think you're complaint is valid and I'm sure you don't mean it this way but... comments like this rub me wrong because that can be fixed with a better system, and likely will when enough people complain. It gets in the way of sharing and spreading VR which I'm sure they want to do.
Once it's fixed it will be another step on the path to saying "well FB's privacy in VR isn't as bad as it used to be!" and that's the road to acceptance.
Reminds me of digital games that cost the same as a physical copy, but you can’t resell.
It would be extremely strange if that wasn't possible.
Those fuckers who thought and approved of that should be kicked in the nuts by steel-toe-shoe-wearing professionally frustrated soccer players.
I guess the solution to this is obvious: delete your facebook account if your Oculus is lost or stolen... I might be inclined to just delete my Facebook altogether if I were an Oculus owner.
Reminds me of how Nvidia's Geforce Experience application requires you to create an account with them just for the convenience of auto-updating your graphics card driver. This "experience" sure doesn't feel right to me, so I update those drivers manually.
Companies are really trying everything they can think of to get more of your information, even if it's just an email address.
For the record: I ended up biting the bullet with Geforce Experience regardless, because of the other features they had on offer that were tied to the app. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I ultimately dropped Nvidia cards entirely for AMD. Switching to AMD in turn made dropping Windows easier! (arch user btw)
Pointing to other shit companies that are known for anti'consumer practices doesn't help your argument.
Second, what is "standard industry practice" is exactly how ethical we force corporations to be.
FB, as a mindless corporation has it built into its very being to be unable to consider ethics and optimize profits on the edge of legality.
However, what the hell is your excuse, trying to normalise such behaviour as "standard industry practice" ??
Do we know how expensive it is to maintain and how much it earns? It probably spends more than the PSVR division at Sony or the Vive division at HTC, but the Quest is quite popular and, if reviews are anything to go by, very close to making VR "mainstream". I'm not convinced it couldn't survive off investor money for a while until it becomes profitable. Silicon Valley is no stranger to unprofitable companies living off investments for years and years after all.
Plus, if they put some form of VR integration into Fortnite that could seriously drive adoption.
I think people don’t appreciate that there is about 5000 engineers working on Oculus at FB. Then add all the supporting functions...it’s easily 7-8k
Facebook wants to stick it's eyeball tendrils up my butt before they deign to allow me to use hardware I purchased from them.
> I don't have to give Logitech my drivers license to plug in a mouse.
This sounds like hyperbole but it's a very real comparison.
You must have a Facebook account to get past the setup screen. Even if you just want to use the headset as an input device and a display.
Better to get the Valve Index.
Buying one if you don't have a facebook account is even worse, you have to create one which they inevitably decide is a bot and then ban it.
When you buy an Android phone, Google gives you a "free" account if you chose to create one (no phone number verification needed).
EDIT: Or not, apparently. Might only work with some whitelisted manufacturers. Boycott Google too I guess.
Of course, creating a new account for just one device was a pain too, as Google required some verification steps which included an SMS message.
Twitter does a similar thing: they'll lock your account and
demand your real phone number before you can get access again.
Luckily it really was a throwaway-account in my case that I
created for a random mobile game, but it's still a horrible
practice - same with Microsoft's email service, which also may
lock you out one day until you enter and verify your phone number.
Can it? Doesn’t Oculus Link only work via the Oculus desktop application, which also requires sign-in?
I'm going non-Oculus tethered for my next VR headset, I have no interest in all of this getting attached to Facebook.
IMO we need strong regulation against this type of interference passed the sphere of the original transaction. Large COs are trying to make us all renters. Fuck that.
While I'm pretty pro-corporate this is the ticket issue that grinds my gears.
That behavior is abhorrent, but this seems like a weird extrajudicial punishment vector.
I’m all for private corps policing their network, but bricking your devices seems like a whole other thing.
You cannot sell those apps. You cannot use those apps on competitor devices.
Or you know stop doing that.
I expect that's what they want. Oauth logins could be regulated by government in a similar fashion to mobile spectrums and it won't be easy for competitors to pop up.
Los Angeles is breaking new boundaries in this arena!
What would be your strategy for holding a mirror to these people and to make these jobs undesirable?
Why don’t we call out bank employees for all the fraud and deception leading up to the 2008 crash? Car makers and oil companies employees for polluting the earth? Farmers for allowing run off into rivers? Pharma employees for relentlessly jacking up prices and pill mills poising countless people?
The reality is most employees have virtually zero impact on the direction of their company. The Zuckerbergs of this world will retreat to their private island estates in Hawaii till any backlash blows over.
Probably a bad idea though, we should just keep assuming that the founders lucky enough to reach critical mass will do the right thing for the world even when they are incentivized not to.
a lot of people complain about those all the time. In Iceland they even put them into prison.
>The reality is most employees have virtually zero impact on the direction of their company
I don't think that's true. Software workers, in particular at those large companies in senior positions wield quite a lot of influence. It's right that they're not owners of the firm, but they're in short supply and they command a lot of power. That said, even your average lowly developer has a very simple choice to have more than zero impact. Don't help them build these systems.
Although I do feel for those who began at Google when they still ascribed to the Don't Be Evil mantra -- at some point you have a responsibility to look around you and recognize the work you're doing has become part of the problem.
We (rightly) don't go after Northrop Grumman engineers when the US decides to bomb Yemen. Put down your pitchfork and show some compassion.
"JuSt StoP MakinG Bombss"
Nobody civilized wants to "go after" them of course, but make no mistake - it's not something you'd want to brag about while overseas if you're trying to make friends.
This is true even in friendly places like Europe, Canada or Japan. Make of that what you will.
Those engineers could decide to build similar tools at a company that does not aid, you know, genocide. Those engineers could also decide to not continue working for a company that normalizes mass surveillance.
When you decide to work on your awesome things at companies like Facebook and Google, you are propping up megacorps that harm society, and that's your choice.
Regarding compassion, I'm looking forward to the next mass walkout of Facebook engineers, condemning the spread of hate and violence that their employee enables.
You’re both right, but your argument is one logical jump away from “they were just doing their jobs”
Older guy, mid 50’s maybe, gets on and says “oh are you a googler?” Me: “Are you? Him: “Yeah I’m in XXXX group” Me: “That’s disgusting, Google is an evil company and you should quit”.
Dude was visibly shocked, and I got off the elevator and never saw him again. If more people told the employees of surveillance capitalism company’s just how terrible they are for working for them they’d have a lot harder time recruiting.
Original Google said “Don’t be evil”, and the employees stood up for the integrity of the company when needed.
Now, Alphabet as the large company did not bring over that motto, and in fact Google has now removed it.
And if the things we see publicly are accurate, the employee’s faith in Google is shaken.
The alternative is "Oh, you work at Schutzstaffel? That's cool!". That he has done is morally correct.
This is a nice sentiment, but probably not possible given the reality of the interconnected nature of everything. The tech generally 'needs' the internet to work.
The issues are:
1) FB requires your so-called 'real identity' which is something fundamentally different than an e-mail address.
2) Related to 1, they ban a lot, for various reasons. Those things nee to be disentangled.
I wonder if the US/DE regulators are going to be smart enough to do something specific because if their redress is too wide, their going to put a zillion businesses in a very grey area.
Thoughtful clarity would be nice.
Imagine if a car I'd bought stopped working because I stuck a 'Find my lost cat' poster up somewhere it wasn't supposed to be.
Most things these days are service-related and absolutely need 'accounts'.
Like your XBox.
Occulus will invariably require some kind of 'account'.
'Accounts' are not evil.
Of course online stores require accounts, but those are not required to use the hardware.
Downloading games is greatly enhanced by accounts.
Playing most games require accounts.
Banning cheaters effectively requires accounts.
It's 100% perfectly fine and there is nothing wrong with it.
The hyperbole here gets really tiring after a while.
No it does not. Most games are not multiplayer games and don't require accounts.
> Downloading games is greatly enhanced by accounts.
It's greatly enhanced by accounts _with the application vendor_ not the device manufacturer. I'd be quite upset if AMD required an account to be able to download Steam games. I _was_ quite upset when a(n offline only) game I bought on Steam required a Games for Windows Live account I didn't was.
> There is nothing anti-privacy about an 'account'. Someone having an arbitrary email address doesn't constitute a breach of privacy.
I said anti-consumer, not anti-privacy. Online only is also cancer, which is what requiring an account effectively is.
But you absolutely should NOT need an account to use your Xbox.
...until the entity wants forms of payment. Then you've got to keep that random sequence of characters for your life unless you're willing to part ways with your purchase.
No, your statement doesn't reflect the reality that companies do treat emails as identities.
Even though we all of that choice, almost none of us care to do it.
Finally, it has nothing to do with control over hardware.
Most of the time, that "need" is entirely artificial - or at least not the only way to design the device.
So Facebook is essentially subsidizing the cost of an Oculus headset initially and making up the profit on ads data. Similar to the console business of selling the hardware at or below cost and making it up in the games sales.
... in the old days, things were distributed on punch paper.
... then floppy disks became an excellent medium of distribution.
... then CDs became prevalent.
... later DVDs came along and provided lots of distributable content.
... some games distributed content with DVDs.
These days though... there should be nothing wrong with distributing your content via a USB or microSD card.
Other than, you know, that whole "oh my gawds my copyrites waaaaaa"
Or just a file. No need to produce more plastic trash.
I hope the EU addresses the root of the issue and starts cracking down on the shadow profile stuff.
So now it is worse.
Hoping Google experiences the same fate. Need to decouple my phone from Google assistant and many other things... for instance, you can't subscribe to a podcast in their app unless you turn on Physical Location Tracking and Web History. Android Auto no longer reads back messages to you (it used to) unless you do the same thing.
The one that gets me is adding a label to a saved place in Maps. I can save the location fine and add it to whatever list I create for it, but if I want to add a simple custom label it blocks me because I don't have Web & App Activity tracking turned on.
Iirc you can obtain a monopoly in one product legally by out-competing your competition, but you can’t obtain another monopoly in another product by tying the second product to the legal monopoly product.
MS built Internet Explorer into Windows to remove users’ need for a third-party browser like Netscape. And they did some contractual tying of Office to Windows too iirc.
So it should be no surprise that DoJ may have problems with attempts to tie Occulus to Facebook’s legal monopoly product.
But a particular bad mark in Facebook's case was Palmer stating, as a representative of the company, that they would never require a Facebook account. Consumers might've bought the product based on that statement.
Of course, savvy users didn't believe him anyway.
Zuck: "I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it further."
And that probably puts this case in a much more solid legal territory than, for example, Nest.
In my direct personal experience as an Oculus/Facebook/Google account-holder, Facebook’s polices have had a much larger negative impact on consumers. I’m glad they are the (first) target of this probe.
The EU has hit Google with considerable fines already.
In reality the competition concerns are secondary to what is really a consumer rights issue: people are buying a good that can be rendered functionality inoperable at any time in the future by completely unrelated actions pertaining to their Facebook account. This doesn't just apply to the headset but possibly hundreds of dollars of apps they have bought.
I don't know how this gets resolved at the moment when the only regulatory mechanism to enforce it is competition law where the concerns are minor (at least for now).
Anyone know why these are all happening at once?
If Facebook just required a login, I believe the regulators would let it slip, it's just a toy after all. But in their arrogance, they let their automated algorithms brick customers' $400 device. Although this alone would eventually bring the attention of authorities upon them, they decided to double down on their hubris by not providing any support to the affected customers. And if that wasn't enough, Facebook refuses to even acknowledge the problem and back down. At this point, they are clearly baiting the anti-trust agencies. Not unlike a mafioso blocking a disabled spot in front of the police station.
Conservative wackadoodles, ignoring that reality has a liberal bias, are targeting social media and big tech for this aforementioned bias.
Liberal socialists, ignoring that the founders of these big tech companies have created thousands of jobs and trillions of dollars in new wealth ripe for America to reap, are targeting them for the sin of being successful.
Big tech, being big and filled with a generation of activist workers, is also flexing its social and political muscles after standing mostly on the sideline for decades.
(I hope the sarcasm in this post was obvious)
In truth, Big Tech has done bad things (and good!), Liberals and Conservatives have valid gripes (and some not!), it's been decades since meaningful regulation has been enforced (even if some has) and in the wake of the 2016 election and ongoing chaos, tech is both making itself prominent in the political discussion and being made a target of that discussion.
This lawsuit doesn't look like the most sensible mode of attack on the company itself though. Oculus is not strategic. They could sell it and it probably wouldn't bother them. Its not Instagram.
I expect the DOJ is conscious that while their current boss doesn't like Facebook, their incoming boss does.
So, this appears designed to look aggressive enough to appease Trump while he still has the power to dismiss but toothless enough to fizzle or cause minimal damage once he's gone.
I'm half expecting all the tech antitrust lawsuits to just be dropped quietly a month or two after Biden enters office. Either way the tech companies are not really under threat here. Facebook won't cry over losing oculus.
The scary thing is eye tracking data which could be used to figure out effective decision strategies and could be used to place more compelling ads. When this information along with facebook( used for oculus login), instagram and data they get from google, I would be spammed with all kinds of things.
I am hoping for nice privacy based VR headset but looks like most companies grade eye tracking data.
We are already spammed with all kinds of things. I mean that's no big deal at all. The real dystopian future we need to worry about is when my activity on Facebook affects things such as a shadow credit score and medical history being used by potential employers, police, extortionists, etc.
I'm glad there is competition in this space, but for average person 1000 USD is too much for a toy. I bought an oculus CV1 used on ebay a few years ago when there was a lull in demand. It's fun, but the second they demand a facebook login it permanently goes on the shelf. Rather unfortunate, but hey maybe one day VR toys will be accessible to non-elites without having to buy into a cyberpunk dystopia (ie if a more benevolent competitor releases cheaper hardware).
1. Inside-out tracking is the future.
2. Detaching from the desktop and playing on the go is a huge feature (tetherless).
3. Hand tracking will re-imagine HCI
Everyone I know, some of whom are very big Valve fans, would tell me that "fidelity is more important" and "outside-in is fundamentally better and will always be better". That's simply not true as evidenced by the new headset from Facebook.
Multiple studios have completely switched to developing for the Quest 2 as the standard.
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi6qqWzThlI
I have all my email in docs in google, I have something like 7 echo’s scattered around the house, I have a Facebook Portal and a Quest 2. All of these things make my life easier or bring joy into it. Avoiding these things would make my life measurably worse. I am disappointed that Apple, as the most privacy conscious of the group, sadly hasn’t built any real competitors to any of these devices.
> Avoiding these things would make my life measurably worse.
is true,I dont envy your life at all.
I avoid most of these things to the extent I am reasonably able. I use a minority email provider, mapping provider, cloud storage provider, backup provider, webdav, caldav, browser (on desktop and mobile), search engine, ebook reader, lock down my android phone in various ways to diminish google's control of it (my work uses Google so to be employed by my current employer I must use google), don't have a facebook account or a twitter account, try to use windows with most of the reporting back turned off and accounts signed out, don't use voice assistants at all, etc.
I think it's the right thing to do, and generally I think it's a good idea to use non dominant service providers as a way to encourage competition.
All this, and I'm sure all the big companies have huge amounts of data about me from when I mess up or from how my life impinges on other people who are more thoroughly tracked.
This definitely makes my life significantly more complex, and various things that are trivial for others are a bit of a palaver for me and for many people I know it'd be completely unreasonable. It's a trade off I've decided to make, but the comment you are referring to highlights the convenience, and I don't think it's wrong.
Sucks for Oculus, they had a good thing going before Zuck raped them.