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Possible Privacy Concerns With The Oculus Tracking Camera?

BurnsBurns Posts: 26
Brain Burst
edited September 2014 in General
At the Oculus Connect Keynote Group Discussion, there was a question that analogously asked, "What could happen to let VR fail again?"

And I asked that myself too. I live in Europe and for some reason privacy concerns is a hot topic there, legitimate or not.
Could the camera somehow could be a obstacle because of that?

Comments

  • WirelineWireline Posts: 1,203
    NerveGear
    After realising that a Kinect can be used to create incredibly good 3d renders of any room its placed in (https://share.oculus.com/app/kso---kinect-scanned-office) I think we are past the point where we should be concerned about potentially privacy invading technologies being in our homes. They are already there, in profusion.

    If you think about it, our laptops have cameras and microphones and we are surrounded by telephones every minute of every day, with microphones and the ability to track our position down to a metre. There is also tech that can extract sound from silent video, so even if you don't have a camera, you can still eavesdrop (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKXOucXB4a8).

    It depends. Some countries are totally passive and apathetic about privacy ("I don't have anything to hide, why should I be afraid?" or "I don't care if the NSA knows what porn I look at" being internet favourites) and others have it higher up the list of priorities. I don't think it will be an issue in the UK anyway. They could bring in labour camps here and we'd just sigh and go "well, that's a bit off. Still, mustn't grumble" :lol: :roll:
  • klasodethklasodeth Posts: 128
    Hiro Protagonist
    Burns wrote:
    At the Oculus Connect Keynote Group Discussion, there was a question that analogously asked, "What could happen to let VR fail again?"

    And I asked that myself too. I live in Europe and for some reason privacy concerns is a hot topic there, legitimate or not.
    Could the camera somehow could be a obstacle because of that?
    While it's been proven that it's possible to get a usable picture out of the tracking camera, it would be harder to do than with a normal webcam. As Wireline already pointed out, lots of computers already have cameras built into them, and in fact many phones have rear-facing cameras now, so it's possible for your phone to look at you while you're using it. I think some people's privacy concerns are misplaced, as they worry about the implications of the camera getting hacked, while not caring at all that they deliberately connect their devices to a network that enables the camera--and all data--on the device to get hacked in the first place.
  • CgpnzCgpnz Posts: 455
    You are concerned about moving dots impressions of yourself?
    I presume the led's are all that is registered on the IR camera's
    image chip, which is then translated to coordinate deltas down the usb wires.
    That's all there is.
  • kojackkojack Posts: 6,009 Volunteer Moderator
    Cgpnz wrote:
    You are concerned about moving dots impressions of yourself?
    I presume the led's are all that is registered on the IR camera's
    image chip, which is then translated to coordinate deltas down the usb wires.
    That's all there is.
    It can see more than that, we had a whole thread on it.
    https://developer.oculusvr.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=11385&start=80#p167636
  • If you're really concerned, or think Oculus should be, there's two easy solutions:

    1. Camera lens cover. There are all sorts of these for different types of webcams, that let you basically move a plastic piece to cover or uncover the lens. Oculus could just include those if they really cared.

    2. Unplug the camera. Oculus could make this even easier if they installed some sorta switch on the camera itself. But even webcam companies dont go this far. Actually, the DK2 tracking camera is even easier to unplug than all webcams I've come across because the USB cable is detachable on the camera side.

    We should be fine.

    Privacy concerns tend to be directed at social media and advertising companies anyway.
    Either that, or directed at companies that have vulnerable software which can allow attackers to steal info.
    In this case, the Windows OS would have to have a vulnerability for someone to maliciously take over your Oculus camera since the Oculus doesnt connect to the internet directly by itself.

    I don't think Oculus could be held liable in any case.
  • Or you could just shut your pc down after every use so no power to camera
  • ThreeEyesThreeEyes Posts: 2,230
    NerveGear
    http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/467-post-your-latest-print/page-123#entry64761

    It would be very easy to have your own lens cap made at at place like Shapeways, or there are probably lots of things that could fit or be taped over the lens.

    But I'm with Klasodeth on this one. Anyone who pwns your computer to take pictures with the DK2 camera already has access to everything on it - email, browsing history, caches, documents, logins, passwords, financial information, etc. And lots of people posting executables, or mirroring them, provides a ready path for infection and compromise. I have yet to see any app or experience have a hash value posted so people can know if it has been tampered with and that assumes the originator didn't add a little something extra.

    And yep, sounds paranoid. But anyone worried about their camera being used to gather images or video is already presupposing compromise.
  • IsoMacintoshIsoMacintosh Posts: 325
    NerveGear
    I just cant imagine NSA being that interested in seeing a Finnish nerd fapping to MLP and lolicon or arguing with people on OculusVR forums. :D
    Or are you worried about someone else? Here in Finland its the NSA that watches everyone with a tinfoil hat.
  • saviorntsaviornt Posts: 1,951
    NerveGear
    I just cant imagine NSA being that interested in seeing a Finnish nerd fapping to MLP and lolicon or arguing with people on OculusVR forums. :D
    Or are you worried about someone else? Here in Finland its the NSA that watches everyone with a tinfoil hat.

    There was a news article from an "anonymous source" that stated that the majority of the videos and pictures captured by webcams were in fact, pornographic in nature.

    Now, back on topic, yes, there is a privacy concern with the Oculus tracking camera. Yes, it can be hacked to show the hacker your room / person. If it's plugged into your computer, it can be hacked (unless you are not connected).

    As far as the kinect goes, it is pandora's box. It will take only one instance in which someone will hold a family hostage, barricade all the rooms and windows.. they will subpeona Microsoft to provide a live feed from the Kinect camera to inside the house. Doesn't seem that bad, in that instance.. however, it will open the box for further intrusions upon our personal lives.. a search warrant for any minor infraction or made up excuse.. "we need a search warrant for the camera because we suspect that this 15 year old kid is playing call of duty as training material to shoot up his school, even though we don't have any proof of it!". Hell, they may just forgo the entire due process in getting a warrant and just hack into it.

    Keep in mind that government agencies and the people that work for them are above the law, as has been proven over and over. How our (American) government should work is very different than how it does work.

    I'll end it here since this is not the appropriate forum to express my views.
  • BurnsBurns Posts: 26
    Brain Burst
    I am not sure if everyone here understood what i meant. I am totally aware that we are wired all the time, because of our phones etc. I just thought about the possibility that media could bitch about the camera, like some did with the xbox-one, but it was probably a little bit different there with there "always-on"-policy. It was just a thought of mine, not more ...
  • I always game / program / surf naked.

    Nothing to hide = no worries.

    I do put on socks before going to the store though.
    This space available for advertising.
  • I just cant imagine NSA being that interested in seeing a Finnish nerd fapping to MLP and lolicon or arguing with people on OculusVR forums. :D
    Or are you worried about someone else? Here in Finland its the NSA that watches everyone with a tinfoil hat.
    It's not that their interested in cloppers or even people that masturbate as a whole, but for evidence that could be incriminating (Or so I imagine anyways). It's like when doctors have to deal with sexual things, it doesn't phase them one bit. Yet society seems to have this taboo against masturbation when 95% of people do it. All they probably want is incriminating evidence or something, I'm not really sure nor do I really care if they watch me. footage of masturbation I imagine isn't profitable, nor is it allowed to be used without consent.
    Gizmotweak wrote:
    I always game / program / surf naked.

    Nothing to hide = no worries.

    I do put on socks before going to the store though.
    Your a good man/woman. Feet can bring in excess bacteria from outside.
    Facebook bought Instagram. How exactly did they ruin them?
  • ConzConz Posts: 83
    Hiro Protagonist
    I have printed the lens cap. This is not the best solution with the current camera. If you press the cap on the lens, than the lens could come off with the cap. That's why I have not posted it on Thingiverse or YouMagine.

    On Topic:

    If someone think this is not a real threat:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/blackshades-thousands-hit-by-webcam-malware-30286810.html

    Sensors like webcams / microphones are targets for hackers.
    The only safe solutions are to remove them when not in use, or hardware like real switches (not software) or caps, sticker and so on.
    Any solutions with some LED, to show that the camera is working, is not safe.
    http://boingboing.net/2013/12/18/macbook-webcams-can-be-remotel.html
    And just to fan the flames, no the blue light on the Position Tracker did NOT light up when I was recording that picture.
    viewtopic.php?f=26&t=11385&start=80#p167636

    No signs that there was something changed on the source code, but the Developer Database was unsecure!
    viewtopic.php?f=26&t=7604
    Maybe there is a small chance, that the SDK is compromized?
    Maybe some hackers now know all customers of DK1 + DK2? Much simpler than to target them (us) directly.

    I would prefer a real hardware switch on the camera (not controllable by software ).

    The tendency to SmartTV, GameConsoles (eg. XBox One), smartphones, tablets ... the internet of things, always on, always online, controlled by gestures or voice in our homes is or will become the biggest playingfield for hackers, companies and agencies.

    Some spooky example:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/hacked-baby-monitor-houston-texas-parents_n_3750675.html
  • klasodethklasodeth Posts: 128
    Hiro Protagonist
    Burns wrote:
    I am not sure if everyone here understood what i meant. I am totally aware that we are wired all the time, because of our phones etc. I just thought about the possibility that media could bitch about the camera, like some did with the xbox-one, but it was probably a little bit different there with there "always-on"-policy. It was just a thought of mine, not more ...
    That's not a problem with the camera; that's a problem with the media. You could remove the camera from the kit right now, erase all traces of it ever existing, and the media could still write a story about "murder simulator" hardware, or the latest threat to children's eyesight, or the scary, new device that exposes children to porn. If they want to smear the Oculus Rift, they don't need to rely on the IR camera to do so, and it wouldn't even be the most interesting target for them anyway, since from their perspective it's little different from the millions of webcams perched above or embedded in people's monitors.
  • BurnsBurns Posts: 26
    Brain Burst
    klasodeth wrote:
    Burns wrote:
    I am not sure if everyone here understood what i meant. I am totally aware that we are wired all the time, because of our phones etc. I just thought about the possibility that media could bitch about the camera, like some did with the xbox-one, but it was probably a little bit different there with there "always-on"-policy. It was just a thought of mine, not more ...
    That's not a problem with the camera; that's a problem with the media. You could remove the camera from the kit right now, erase all traces of it ever existing, and the media could still write a story about "murder simulator" hardware, or the latest threat to children's eyesight, or the scary, new device that exposes children to porn. If they want to smear the Oculus Rift, they don't need to rely on the IR camera to do so, and it wouldn't even be the most interesting target for them anyway, since from their perspective it's little different from the millions of webcams perched above or embedded in people's monitors.

    Totally agree. Really curious how the media and people are going to react to the first consumer product oculus is going to throw on the market.
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