A new research brief explores the interactions between extended reality technologies and child sexual exploitation and abuse

A research brief by the WeProtect Global Alliance delves into how extended reality technologies intersect with child sexual exploitation and abuse online. The briefing emphasizes the potential risks posed by these technologies and offers recommendations for stakeholders, including regulators and technology providers, to mitigate harm.

The WeProtect Global Alliance has released a briefing on the potential impact of extended reality (XR) technologies on child sexual exploitation and abuse online. Developed by Professor Emma Barrett OBE of the University of Manchester, the briefing examines how XR could create new opportunities for offenders to access, exploit, and abuse children, and how the technology may develop in the future. The briefing recommends that regulators, lawmakers, and XR technology providers take steps to prevent harm, including meaningful consultations with stakeholders, investment in research and development, and adoption of safety by design principles.

It is also recommended that all XR technology platform providers should prevent children’s access to inappropriate content through age rating and parental controls, allow users to block or otherwise limit interaction with other users, provide content moderation that can be human (manual) or automated, provide advice and training to children and their carers on risk management, adopt ‘safety by design’: designing applications with children in mind.