The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) of South Korea recently released a set of key ethical principles fundamental for growth and participation in the metaverse.
The three central values for metaverse participants are self-identity preservation, safe enjoyment, and sustainable prosperity.
The MSIT proposed eight principles to uphold while participating in the metaverse: authenticity, autonomy, reciprocity, respect for privacy, fairness, data protection, inclusiveness, and accountability.
To ensure the principles can be applied to use cases of the metaverse, the MSIT plans to gather feedback from relevant departments, experts, industries, and civic organizations to finalize the draft by the end of 2022.
The MSIT also addressed growing concerns regarding how users interact online, including copyright, juvenile protection, and personal information.
The MSIT also intends to create rules around data privacy; social and economic equality; identity control; and freedom of creative expression as it considers them real ethical concerns in the metaverse.
New Deal 2.0
In July, the country announced the Digital New Deal (New Deal 2.0) plan, under which it will invest 9 trillion won to foster a ‘world-class metaverse ecosystem.’
The investment will go towards establishing a Metaverse Academy to train and equip developers and creators with technical and artistic skills and Metaverse Labs to propel the development and commercialization of metaverse-related technologies.
Additionally, the government plans to use the capital to fund startups to increase the number of companies specialized in the metaverse from 21 in 2019 to 56 in 2022 and 150 in 2025 through core technology development and content creation support.
It also plans to create an ‘open Metaverse platform’ powered by data and authoring tools to allow anyone to develop content and participate are also on the agenda.
South Korea and the metaverse
South Korea’s plan to create a set of ethical principles for the metaverse is part of its ongoing effort to become a pioneer in the crypto industry. In January, the ministry announced a five-year plan to build the world’s fifth-largest metaverse industry by 2026.
In this plan, the ministry outlined four major strategies for the metaverse. The first strategy involves establishing metaverse platforms to allow virtual access to public services, while the second involves nurturing professionals in the metaverse.
The third and fourth strategies aim to foster companies and set up metaverse ethical principles and regulations for the metaverse, respectively.