I recently updated to Oculus Quest version 9 and I've stumbled upon a set of rules that highly concerns me. I am talking about the ability to enable developer mode.
As many tech enthusiasts do, when we buy a cellphone, computer or a device like the Oculus Quest, we like to alter, mod or add pieces of software that is not originally provided by a developer or the company itself.
When I read the privacy statement closely, it states that you will strip down people's ability to enable developer mode or even permanently ban people if they mess with pieces of software or upload software that isn't compliant with the Oculus Quest guideline making the Quest entirely useless if you don't follow the rules.
I quote the following: "We also employ dedicated teams and develop advanced technical systems to detect misuse and violations and reserve the right to take appropriate action as per our Terms of Service, including removing content, blocking access to certain features, disabling an account, or contacting law enforcement."
Privacy should never ever be violated in order to detect pirated software or something that has been purchased and modded. For example, if you buy an android based mobile device, you can enable: "Allow software from unknown sources" when developer mode is enabled to install your software outside the Google play environment, this is the exact same principle with the Quest. But i've never heard of a mobile company that has an entire team that will acces your cellphone if you installed something that is against the law or violates any rule based on their policy, simply because it's against privacy rules. I've also never heard of a windows gaming company that will scan your entire hard drive for pirated games so they can block you or remove you permanently from their service, because yet again, it would be against the privacy law to collect that data from their local device to detect piracy.
I support developers and don't like to see companies getting robbed from their hard earned money, but this isn't the way to go. Oculus Quest was a device that had it all, tweaking, modding, sideloading and the yet to come Oculus link and Hand tracking. Since the Facebook privacy scandal it is way out of boundary to monitor all Quest's devices like this.
There was an entire community build around Beat Saber for example, now they have stopped, just because you threaten to disable their accounts and thus making their devices useless and removes any purchased games, this gives a company way too much power.
I want to give an example to Valve: Half life, portal and many other games have been customized or entirely remodded by the community so people could enjoy their own way of gaming. I was really thrilled that the Oculus Quest was as free spirited as Valve itself, but from now on, it is illegal to even adjust the tiniest bit of software that you purchase and play offline in your own environment, because your company threatens with permanent bans and a complete dedicated team to make sure everybody follows every rule. The Oculus Quest as I see it was the device of the future, now it seems like oculus doesn't care about people minding their own business.
In the old days when you bought Tomb Raider you could download a nude pack so you could see the 3 pixels of boobs as a kid? Just like the entire remake of Black Mesa in 2012 as a dedication to Half Life made by a single modder. Most idea's, functions, expressions and builds you have to thank to those modders, who made these in their free time so we could enjoy it. And that makes a community thriving and vibrant. But you've set the tone and made sure that everyone who dares to touch the system will be punished.
Really, I do stand for anti-piracy, but I am more pro-privacy and fair use policy.