- Over the coming months, we’ll roll out parental supervision tools on Quest to help keep teens safe in VR.
- Starting in April, as a first step to giving people more customized control over their VR experience, we’ll expand the functionality of our existing unlock pattern on Quest headsets, allowing parents to prevent their teens from accessing games and content they feel aren’t age-appropriate.
- In May, we’ll begin automatically blocking teens from downloading or purchasing apps rated age-inappropriate, and we’ll launch an initial suite of tools in our Parent Dashboard.
Today, we’re announcing parental supervision tools for VR, which will begin rolling out to all Quest headsets over the coming months. This is an early look at our plans to provide platform-level controls for parents and teens ages 13+.
Expanding Unlock Pattern on Quest
As a first step to giving people more customized control over their experience in VR, we’ll expand the functionality of our existing unlock pattern on Quest headsets. Today, you can create an unlock pattern as an extra layer of security to prevent others from accessing your device or saved passwords. Beginning in April, we’ll introduce the ability for people to use the unlock pattern to lock specific apps directly from VR. Once a given app is locked, you’ll need to draw your unlock pattern to unlock and launch it. This will allow parents to prevent teens 13+ from accessing games and experiences they feel aren’t age-appropriate by using an unlock pattern to lock access to those apps.
Automatically Blocking Age-Inappropriate Apps
Next, in May 2022, we’ll begin automatically blocking teens 13+ from downloading or purchasing apps rated age-inappropriate by the International Age Rating Coalition, as well as launch our initial suite of parental supervision tools. Different teens have different maturity levels, and parents know their teens best, so we’ll offer the ability for parents to override app blocks on a case-by-case basis. We also know that customizable controls, teen autonomy and adjustable settings are important to our community. Only teens with parental supervision tools enabled will be able to request permission to override blocks, and parents will be able to approve or deny each request.
We’ve been working with industry experts Larry Magid at Connect Safely, Dr. Michael Rich at Digital Wellness Lab, Janice Richardson at Insight SA, and Jutta Kroll at Stiftung Digitale Chancen to help inform our approach and better understand how we can best meet our community’s needs.
Introducing Parent Dashboard
Our initial suite of parental supervision tools, which includes a Parent Dashboard accessible from the Oculus mobile app, will allow parents to link to their teen’s account via a process initiated by the teen and with consent from both sides. This is just a starting point, informed by collaboration with industry experts, and we’ll continue to grow and evolve our parental supervision tools over time. To start:
- The parent will be able to approve their teen’s download or purchase of an app that is blocked by default based on its IARC-rating.
- Teens 13+ can submit an “Ask to Buy” request, which triggers a notification to their parent.
- The parent can then approve or deny the request from the Oculus mobile app.
- The parent will be able to block specific apps that may be inappropriate for their teen which will prevent the teen from launching those apps. Apps that can be blocked include apps like web browsers and apps available on the Quest Store.
- The parent will be able to view all of the apps that their teen owns.
- The parent will be able to receive “Purchase Notifications,” alerting them when their teen makes a purchase in VR.
- The parent will be able to view headset screen time from the Oculus mobile app, so they’ll know how much time their teen is spending in VR.
- The parent will be able to view their teen’s list of Oculus Friends.
- The parent will be able to block Link and Air Link, which will prevent their teen from accessing content from their PC on their Quest headset.
Quest devices are only intended for use by people ages 13+ and are not designed for younger children. This is stated in our Terms of Service, product onboarding and Safety Center. Our parental supervision features are designed to serve the needs of teens ages 13+. Learn more about additional tips and tools parents can use to help keep teens 13+ safe in VR.