South Korea brings new guidance for its Metaverse, introduces ‘ethical principles’

  • These ethical principles seek to provide personal information protection, protection of young minds, copyright protection, and much more.
  • The draft for Metaverse principles also seeks to address key concerns of verbal abuse, harassment, and racism.

As the Metaverse industry prepares for the next leg of growth, South Korea introduces some guiding principles for the sector. South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) released the first draft of ‘ethical principles’ for the Metaverse industry.

During the joint discussion forum last week on August 26, they released the draft under ‘Expanded Virtual World Ethics Principles’. This included participation from private metaverse players, South Korean government ministries, legal advisers, and other related organizations.

The forum members decided on public-private partnerships to regulate the sector ethically. The South Korean government aims to protect stakeholders’ interests amid the rapid expansion of the Metaverse. This includes personal information protection, protection of young minds, copyrights protection, and much more. The translated document of the draft reads:

The Ministry of Science and ICT will resolve social concerns about the expanded virtual world and expand it in the process of developing, operating, and using the expanded virtual world centered on related ministries and industries so that the potential and scalability of the expanded virtual world as a new growth engine is not limited.

The South Korean government has devoted $165 million to address the developments in the Metaverse sector. Earlier, Minister of Science and ICT, Lim Hyesook, called metaverse “an uncharted digital continent with indefinite potential”.

Addressing key concerns of the Metaverse

The crypto metaverse industry has already witnessed instances of scams and thefts including that of NFTs. However, there are some greater concerns to address. Aram Moon, the lead researcher of the draft, said that the Metaverse industry is also facing problems of verbal abuse, harassment, and racism. He further added:

The draft extended virtual world ethics principles is based on the unique characteristics of the extended virtual world, such as the virtual self, immersion experience, and economic system.

As a result, the new draft talks about eight principles to preserve ethical values in the Metaverse ecosystem. This includes data protection, responsibility, inclusion, authenticity, fairness, reciprocity, autonomy, and respect for privacy.

While chairing the meeting of the Ethics Division of the Expanded Virtual World Alliance, Sungkyunkwan University Professor Seungmin Lee said: “Legal and social norms are being discussed to resolve the dysfunction of the expanded virtual world.”

At the same time, South Korea is also working on key regulatory changes as new players enter the crypto market. The top seven brokerage firms in South Korea have been working to launch their crypto exchanges in early 2023.

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