Facebook is certainly managing its share of privacy issues right now, a number that has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. But his last headache seems almost too strange to be true.
Nate Mitchell, co-founder of Oculus, whose company belongs of course to Facebook, recognized on Twitter On Friday, these strange secret messages were "accidentally" hidden in "tens of thousands" of virtual reality controllers. Messages like "Big Brother Looks" and "This Space to Rent".
As if that were not enough, it seems that if none of the devices containing the hidden messages has yet landed in the hands of customers, it will apparently be too late to stop their shipment. According to Mitchell, the specific products at issue are the touch controllers for the Quest and Rift S that have not yet been delivered, compared to the current touch controllers that have already begun to come with the Rift.
"Unfortunately, some Easter egg-shaped labels meant for prototypes were accidentally inserted into the internal hardware of tens of thousands of touch controllers," commented Mitchell. Messages on the final production hardware, which will be hidden in the controllers, also include "The Masons Were Here," while some development kits limited to non-consumer devices contain messages such as "Hi iFixit! We see you! As well as the message "Big Brother".
To be clear, most Oculus users who own a device containing one of these hidden messages will never see it. According to a Facebook representative quoted by Internal business, the messages are hidden on an internal component of the touch controller.
Nevertheless, the fact that Facebook, of all companies, has to publicly apologize for sending a product containing secret messages such as the one touting Big Brother – I mean, Facebook itself is already perceived in the minds of some people as a Big View Brother, with a voracious appetite for any user data that it may possibly accumulate. I would say that the impending messaging change announced by the company, which is subtly moving away from the "public place" of the news feed, is in part a response to the decline in usage that stems from the concerns of its members. users in terms of confidentiality.
This latest news is doubly frustrating, as some of the messages convey the impression that the company is taking into account some minor privacy concerns. But, as we all know, every time Facebook is under surveillance, that too will happen. Rinse, repeat. Until the next scandal.