Can Covenant Eyes monitor Virtual Reality devices like the Oculus Quest?

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  • Updated 7 months ago
I recently purchased an Oculus Quest, and while exploring the pre-loaded apps I almost immediately was presented with the capability to use an in-built browser. Thankfully I had more than enough entertainment to explore already, and ignored the temptation to browse 'unprotected'.

What sort of capability does CE have to monitor and/or filter VR browsing and apps?

I have been using CE for years now, and appreciate the accountability that helps me make good choices, but also (and importantly) gives my wife peace of mind to be able to see that I am making good choices.
We use OpenDNS in conjunction with CE, is this a tenable solution until CE is able to develop it's own VR app?
Is there an article or a roadmap that I can get more information about CE's approach to this future-tech that is already here today?
I can lock it up when not in use and give my wife the key, but hopefully that won't be necessary!

Thanks for any information or advice you can give me.

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Matthew Norman

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  • hopeful

Posted 7 months ago

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Robert B, Official Rep

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Thanks for posting. More importantly, thanks for making your wife's peace of mind a priority. Keep up the good work!

I'll talk about dedicated VR devices in a moment. But, basically, when it comes to monitoring VR apps and browsing, on an AndroidTM device or iPhone®/iPad®, the CE app should interact with those items as it does with any other app on your phone/tablet. However, the factors that would add nuance to your scenario are 1) the service you're using (Screen AccountabilityTM or Internet Accountability) and 2) whether or not your username has Filtering or not. Again, CE should monitor/filter VR browsing and apps.

To my knowledge we are not developing a VR app. But the use of OpenDNS as an additional layer of protection shouldn't cause an issue. (If there does seem to be a conflict, either disable OpenDNS or filtering on your username. I have seen cases of two filters fighting each other, instead of helping each other. It's often cleared up by picking one filter and disabling the other.)

We are not developing anything for devices like the Quest. Two reasons for this include: 1) we need to stay on top of changes in the four major operating systems (Android, iOS, Mac, Windows) and 2) there isn't yet a firm "winner" in the VR world. Perhaps, and this is purely conjecture, if there was a clearly dominant operating system for VR devices, then we might be able to justify the research and development it would take to be in that space. If we get to that place, we'll be sure to let everyone know.

But, in light of those facts, it does sound like the lock and key approach will be your best move for now. For advice about particular devices, consider following Protect Young Eyes -  They do a good job of sharing device-specific advice for people trying to wisely navigate the online world.

Hope this helps,