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[STUDENT PAPER] The Metaverse: Challenges and Regulatory Issues

The Digital, Governance and Sovereignty Chair will now publish, on a regular basis, a selection of the finest essays and papers written by Sciences Po students in the course of their studies.

This paper was written by four students from the Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream of the Master in Public Policy and Master in European Affairs of the School of Public Affairs, as part of the course entitled “Comparative Approach to Big Tech Regulation” given by Florence G’sell.

The Metaverse: Challenges and Regulatory Issues

Meta’s push for the implementation of the metaverse has marked a turning point in the tech industry. The giant’s corporate strategy has the potential to alter our current socio-economic paradigm, by transforming society’s means of daily social or economic interactions. The technologies needed for its full potential are still far from being a reality. However, multiple issues and concerns are rising fast across several stakeholders. Namely, the fear of a monopolization of the new virtual space by the US tech giant has caused great concerns for regulators across the globe. Meta has a poor record of upholding public interest and the welfare of users over corporate interests. And for this reason, an unrestricted and unregulated metaverse could lead to disastrous consequences. 

Therefore, this policy brief addresses the main regulatory concerns raised by Meta’s vision of the Metaverse, focusing on: (i) privacy; (ii) provision of public services; (iii) intellectual property; and (iv) interactions between avatars. In order to properly assess these concerns, the first sections will provide a general introduction, a definition of the Metaverse’s key notions and a detailed analysis of Meta’s business model. Finally, upon this previous extensive revision, a series of recommendations and conclusions will be presented, so that European institutions count with the necessary basis for deploying an ex ante regulatory framework that upholds the welfare of users and the rights of citizens in the implementation of the Metaverse. 

Click below to read the Policy Brief ” The Metaverse: Challenges and Regulatory Issues “.

About the authors


Master in European Affairs, Digital, New Technology and Public Policy strea; Law and International Relations Graduate, Universidad Pontificia de Comillas – ICADE; Specialization in European Union and Competition Law; Intern at the OECD’s Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs (Competition Division).

Victoria Magdalena OTTER

Master in Public Affairs, Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream; Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Groningen; Specialized in international relations and business; Intern as a Cybersecurity strategist at Capgemini consultancy.   

Tatsuaki TSUKUDA

Master in Public Policy, Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream; Bachelor of Arts, Europe-Asia program, Sciences Po Paris Le Havre campus; Majored in political science and government studies; Co-founder of an online tutoring company Lighthouse, and a former business development intern at Corpy&Co an AI startup.

Bastien VIVENOT 

Master in European Affairs, Digital, New Technology and Public Policy stream; Bachelor of Social Sciences, Ibero-Latin- American program, Sciences Po; International development intern, French Tech program – French Ministry of Economy.

About the School of Public Affairs 

The School of Public Affairs offers masters covering all aspects of public affairs with eleven specialties and a very wide choice of international double degrees . It also offers excellent preparation for competitive examinations for senior national and European civil service.

A first publication of its kind, this student contribution was written as part of the course “Comparative approaches to Big Tech Regulation” given by Professor Florence G’sell in the spring semester. This course is given as part of the “Digital, New Technology and Public Policy” stream, an interdisciplinary program in which students acquire the fundamental theoretical, practical and critical skills they need to shape the future of public policy in the digital era. This program is taught entirely in English.