With widespread adoption, PokemonGO has brought the novel policy considerations of augmented reality to a wide audience. Over the last week, members of the Lab have highlighted some of these issues. Co-Director Calo, noted the novel nature of a game that requires players to physically travel and potentially actionable nuisance created by the developers (Verge). In an article in New Scientist, Emily McReynolds highlighted the benefits of including a diverse set of stakeholders in the design of these applications.
In the Tech Policy Lab’s Augmented Reality Law and Policy Primer we provide a preview of the policy implications of this developing technology and make conditional recommendations. Our key findings included:
1. AR exists in a variety of configurations, but in general, AR is a mobile or embedded technology that senses, processes, and outputs data in real-time, recognizes and tracks real-world objects, and provides contextual information by supplementing or replacing human senses.
2. AR systems will raise legal and policy issues in roughly two categories: collection and display. Issues tend to include privacy, free speech, and intellectual property as well as novel forms of distraction and discrimination.
3. We recommend that policymakers—broadly defined—engage in diverse stakeholder analysis, threat modeling, and risk assessment processes. We recommend that they pay particular attention to: a) the fact that adversaries succeed when systems fail to anticipate behaviors; and that, b) not all stakeholders experience AR the same way.
4. Architectural/design decisions—such as whether AR systems are open or closed, whether data is ephemeral or stored, where data is processed, and so on—will each have policy consequences that vary by stakeholder.