Meta rolls out parental controls for their VR headsets: Enabling parent supervision

Meta rolls out parental controls for their VR headsets: Enabling parent supervision

Published: 19-04-2022
Updated: 30-01-2023

Meta announced that they will be rolling out continual updates that increase and enable parents to control the content and usage of their virtual reality headsets. Notably, it is against Meta’s terms of service for anyone younger than 13 to use their VR headsets and access their content store.

Parental control for Quest headsets

Meta, together with industry experts, in a series of updates, will enable and increase the level at which parents can control the usage and content of their Quest virtual reality headsets. The first of these updates will be delivered in April 2022, allowing parents to block their children from playing games and consuming material they believe is inappropriate for their age. In May, Meta will begin blocking teenagers from downloading or purchasing apps rated as unsuitable for their age linked with its global IARC rating

Furthermore, in May, Meta will also be launching the first set of tools in a Parent Dashboard. Such a dashboard will provide parents with a single point of access, helping them control the content that their children shouldn’t access.

Quest - Parental Controls - VR Expert-3

Specific blocking of apps and dashboard

In further detail, Meta will be expanding its “unlock pattern” which refers to parents being able to place pattern locks on individual apps. By using an unlock pattern to restrict access to those applications, parents will be able to keep their teens from playing games and experiences they believe aren’t appropriate for them.

Additionally, in May, Meta will begin automatically blocking the downloading of age-inappropriate content if they suspect the user does not meet the minimum age requirement compliant with the International Age Rating Coalition.

However, Meta states that maturity differs, combined with parenting style also changes per child. So Meta will open the ability to customize such application blocking.

The Parent Dashboard, which will be available through the Oculus mobile app in May, will enable parents to link to their teenager’s account via a procedure initiated by the teen with consent from both sides. Although, this is just the starting point, as Meta will continue to grow and evolve parental supervision over time. 

Parent Dashboard features

  • Blocking, or unlocking, content in the app store, including web browsers for a safer online experience.
  • The parent will be able to see all their child’s applications and their friend list.
  • The parent will be notified when their kid purchases VR content.
  • From the Parent Dashboard, the parent will be able to see how much time their kid is spending in VR.
  • The parent will even be able to block links and air links, preventing their child from accessing content from their PC.

Quest - Parental Controls - VR Expert-1

Conclusion

Meta announced that they will roll out continual updates that increase and enable parents to control the content and usage of their virtual reality headsets. Overall, this is a feature that many have been requesting Meta to implement since its headsets in May 2019 and something that will make parents be able to sleep soundly at night.