Facebook pauses selling Oculus Quest VR headsets in Germany due to privacy issues

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Facebook ‘temporarily pauses’ selling Oculus Quest VR headsets in Germany after German privacy watchdog HCDPFI raised privacy concerns

Facebook had earlier in the month announced that all Oculus Quest VR headset users will have to mandatorily login using their Facebook credentials from January 1, 2023. Facebook had also warned that from October 2020, new Oculus users could log in to their devices from a Facebook account only. It had added that existing Oculus have the option of merging their Oculus and Facebook accounts. However, from 1 January 2023, all Oculus VR headset owners are required to log in only via a Facebook account. This news raised fresh privacy concerns among European Oculus headset users as this could mean signing up for Facebook without any reason and also Facebook logging in every headset user in its massive database.

As soon as Facebook’s new policy was announced, the German regulator slammed the social media networking giant for making virtual reality headset buyers sign up for a Facebook account through a backdoor. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HCDPFI) criticized Facebook for its new policy and said that making a FB account mandatory was ‘extremely questionable’ from a legal point of view. The commissioner added that those German buyers who had already bought the Oculus Rift VR headset will have to sign up on Facebook without agreeing to it while buying the headset.

After the commissioner’s comments, Facebook has decided to ‘temporarily pause’ selling Oculus Quest VR headsets in Germany. “We have temporarily paused selling Oculus devices to consumers in Germany,” Facebook wrote on the Oculus support site. “We will continue supporting users who already own an Oculus device and we’re looking forward to resuming sales in Germany soon,” it added.

Facebook did not explain why it was suspending the sale of Oculus Quest VR headsets in Germany or when it will be resuming the sale.

It remains to be seen if the HCDPFI will initiate legal action against Facebook for making the old Oculus buyers sign in to the social media network through proxy means.

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"The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had." Eric Schmidt

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