How will the metaverse influence business and legal processes? | Epic

The Metaverse is the latest hot topic when it comes to predictions for the next iteration of the internet. Several major tech and gaming companies are investing in this space to grow it. It should be good practice for organizations in each industry to track progress in the months and years to come. So what exactly is the Metaverse? Although still a working concept and not yet fully defined, the simplest description is an immersive three-dimensional shared virtual space allowing users to interact with each other as if they were in nobody. But the metaverse is much more layered than that, and it will likely operate as a self-contained digital economy with open access for users to participate in continued evolution. Augmented reality, digital currencies and other advanced technologies will power the metaverse.

Potential business applications, challenges and risks

Some organizations have already started participating in the early stages of the metaverse by opening banks, hosting virtual law firms, and creating retail strategies. There will be many opportunities in the future as this space evolves. Entering the metaverse will provide organizations with much more than typical remote communication tools like video and text chat. Colleagues and clients can put on headsets and directly participate in a virtual conference, meeting or business transaction with people located around the world. Interactions and visuals will be as if everyone involved is physically present through digital avatars.

While some are hesitant to use the metaverse and adoption is hard to predict, it’s not going away and will undoubtedly affect internal processes, business relationships, case strategy, and more. Organizations should start thinking now about opportunities to be better prepared for future challenges. Below are some predictions on how the metaverse will influence operations, strategy, and investments in different areas of the business.

  1. Metaverse participants will need to revamp information governance programs. Organizations that participate in the Metaverse or have business relationships involving Metaverse data will need to create new information governance initiatives. There will be massive amounts of data relating to a single transaction or interaction in the metaverse. Think about the amount of technology that will be involved in a virtual office meeting to create rooms, avatars, etc. While these interactions may prove beneficial, risks will arise in terms of data management and compliance with various legal, contractual and commercial obligations. Organizations should consider this when strategizing for metaverse investment, creating data retention policies, classifying data, using cloud storage, and defining protection protocols. Datas. While organizations should already consider these factors in their information governance initiatives, the amount and type of data involved in the metaverse will require reassessment and present new challenges.
  1. The legal community will face new challenges and ethical obligations when it comes to eDiscovery. Lawyers, legal service providers, and review teams must anticipate the unique obstacles to collection and review when data relevant to litigation or investigations resides in the metaverse. Challenges include the need to use virtual reality (VR) headsets to visualize and analyze data, identification of custodians, preservation mechanisms, and increasing spoliation claims. Court decisions in this area will be instructive, but it will be years before significant jurisprudential trends emerge.

For lawyers, ethics comes into play here and most states follow the American Bar Association’s position on competence – which requires lawyers to keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including benefits and risks associated with the relevant technology. To avoid future eDiscovery headaches and stay ethical, best practices include education and training on the metaverse and VR headsets, monitoring modern technologies used to power the metaverse, analytics of competitors and special attention to first case decisions.

  1. Cybersecurity risks will increase. With so many moving parts and layered technologies needed in the metaverse, cybersecurity is a major concern. Hackers will be looking for vulnerabilities as this space evolves and new attack methods may begin to develop. Organizations transacting in the metaverse need to improve cyber risk analysis and may need to implement stricter security controls to protect consumer data, trade secrets, and other sensitive information. While emerging technologies still invoke the need to assess cyber risk and identify potential gaps, the metaverse is dipping into uncharted territory. It would be prudent to consult cyber experts for information on how best to secure data in the metaverse and limit the risk of breaches.
  1. The application of confidentiality rules will become tricky. Comprehensive data privacy laws continue to be adopted around the world. Metaverse data will raise large-scale privacy concerns, as the technology used will collect biometric identifiers, health information, and other sensitive data. The amount of data that organizations will be able to access will be greater than ever. This can lead to more targeted advertising, data sales, and storage needs.

How the regulations will apply in the metaverse remains unclear. What state or country privacy law will apply if a transaction or interaction occurs only in the metaverse and that is the only place the data is stored? Will regulators need to change laws to account for their application in the metaverse? Will they need to create brand new metaverse-focused privacy laws? How will interoperability affect the application and designation of controllers? Complex questions like this will continue to surface as the metaverse grows and adoption spreads.

Conclusion

As the metaverse evolves, organizations will gain clarity about responsibilities and risks. It may take a while to get there, and adoption could be more widespread in certain industries. However, over time, most organizations will encounter the metaverse in some way. Key areas to watch include business uses, integration capabilities, interoperability, technology used to power the space, infringement trends, and eDiscovery case law. It will be interesting to see how the metaverse takes shape, plays a role in business, transforms strategies and fosters collaboration on a new scale. Staying informed and prepared will help organizations make smart investment decisions, analyze risk, stay competitive, and achieve maximum benefits.

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