Reddit User XquaInTheMoon has discovered that the VR Health Institute's Terms & Conditions grant two complete strangers access to user data. Whoops...
We all read the terms and conditions... right?
Okay, well at least we all read most of them... Or some of them... Or, more often than not, none of them at all. In fact, we often have no idea what kind of sinister arrangement could be lurking beneath that all too familiar 'I have read the Ts&Cs in their entirety' tick box.
Well, lucky for we lazy people, heroes like Reddit user XquaInTheMoon have our backs when we need it the most. Last week, after investigating the VR Health Institute's small print, the user found something very peculiar indeed.
The VR Health Institute uses top of the line, medical technologies to investigate the metabolic and calorie effects of VR games. In other terms, it gauges how good (or, in some cases, bad) certain VR games are for your health.
The about section of the VR Health Institute website lists three employees: Director Aaron Stanton, Jimmy Bagley, PhD, and Marialice Kern, PhD, FACSM.
However, in their terms & conditions, two completely new characters are introduced: Mimi Spencer and Michael Mosley. In fact, not only are they mentioned, but they are given full permission to use all your data in whatever way they "deem appropriate":
By submitting User Content to us, simultaneously with such posting you automatically grant to us a worldwide, fully-paid, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, fully sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, record, sell, lease, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon (including, without limitation, translations), publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, publish and otherwise exploit the User Content (in whole or in part) Mimi Spencer and Michael Mosley deem appropriate. We may exercise this grant in any format, media or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any copyright that may exist in such User Content.
I'm sure nothing malicious was meant by it. In fact, XquaInTheMoon supposes that it was "just a bad copy paste." But whatever the reason, this is bound to cause some rosy cheeks at the VR Health Institute when they realise their mistake.
A special thanks to user XquaInTheMoon: the hero we need, but not the one we deserve right now.
In future, I think I'll give whatever Ts&Cs I sign at least a quick scan...
And, believe it or not, this isn't even the biggest VR/Health story this week. Have you heard that Bristol University in the UK have created a 3D model of COVID-19, and hope to use it to develop innovative drug treatments?