Virtual reality in sports – privacy risks and revenue opportunities for players
Virtual reality (VR) has become one of the hottest buzzwords in recent years owing to its potential to revolutionize many industries. The sports industry is arguably where VR is being put to use in the most effective and aggressive manner. The advent of VR technology will likely fundamentally change how sports are played, advertised, and watched. Increasing numbers of professional sports teams are incorporating VR into their training programs; content distributers and technology start-ups are racing to deliver more games in the VR format; and advertisers are itching to capitalize on the commercial opportunities created by an all-immersive fan experience.1
At the same time, the adoption of VR technology in sports will create new legal questions or at least require an expansion of existing legal doctrines. VR brings unprecedented opportunities for players to enhance their brands as well as perils for their names and reputation to be destroyed overnight. This series of articles will explore a number of legal matters, including privacy (particularly data privacy) of players and fans and issues related to distorted sensescape (the simultaneous presence of several sensuous experiences) and pervasive display.
After first reviewing the current adoption of VR technology in sports, this first article focuses on player privacy and data protection issues. Specifically, it looks at:
The growing role of virtual reality in sports
Impact on players’ privacy rights
Intrusion into private physical spaces
Privacy in public spaces
Data created by VR technology
How can players protect their privacy rights and proprietary data?
Option 1 – generally prohibit use of personal data and privacy violations and tightly regulate licensing on a case-by-case basis
Option 2 – broader licensing of use of the data / privacy rights player associations with limited regulation
Option 3 – licensing directly by individual players
Option 4 – license collection of the data rather than use
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- Tags: American Football | Baseball | Basketball | Broadcasting | Commercial | Data Protection | Employment | FifPro | Football | Hockey | Intellectual Property | IP | Major League Baseball (MLB) | Major League Soccer (MLS) | Media Rights | NASCAR | National Basketball Association (NBA) | National Football League (NFL) | National Hockey League (NHL) | Premier League | Privacy | Regulation | United Kingdom (UK) | United States of America (USA) | Virtual Reality (VR)
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About the Author
Nan Sato is an attorney qualified in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She advises international and Japanese players’ associations, commercial sponsors, clubs, and athletes in a number of sports, including football, baseball, rugby, and American football. In addition to contractual and labor issues, she has developed a strong focus on the intersection of technology and sports. Nan works in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish.
Sam Beer is an (England & Wales qualified) solicitor based in Herbert Smith Freehills' Tokyo office. He advises a broad range of international and Japanese clients in relation to complex cross-border disputes – particularly focussing on international arbitration. Sam has experience working in a number of sectors but is developing a specialism in sports-related disputes and is currently studying for a Master's degree in International Sports Law at ISDE in Madrid.