For a secure and protected metaverse

The PRIME – Privacy in the Metaverse project researches how new virtual worlds can be reconciled with personal rights and data protection.

About the PRIME project

Our Motivation

The metaverse is seen by some as the next stage in the development of the internet. In the metaverse, analog and virtual reality merge. Users can communicate, consume and collaborate virtually via their avatars.

Alongside all its positive potential, however, the vision of the metaverse comes with a variety of challenges for privacy. On the one hand, the question arises about how users in these highly networked worlds won't become completely transparent and how to guarantee the protection of user data. On the other hand, the question arises how personal rights can and should be protected in the metaverse. Because even in the metaverse, it must be ensured that, for example, sexual harassment or insults don't go unpunished. To ensure the greatest possible privacy for users in such a future, privacy protection in the metaverse should be researched at an early stage and solutions identified.


The PRIME Mission

Our Vision

Explore interfaces and design practices

Design and evaluation of user interfaces and design practices that enable users to effectively exercise their right to privacy within the metaverse and, among other things, adequately support their consent and protect themselves from harassment and assault.

Develop evaluation metrics for metaverse platforms

Development and testing of metrics to evaluate the design of virtual content on metaverse platforms about their impact on user privacy to curb dark patterns and deceptive designs in the metaverse, among other things.

Testing participatory design processes

Research and testing of innovative design and development processes with the help of users' opinions concerning user interfaces and metrics can be collected both by means of classical methods of usability research and with the help of methods used in the metaverse itself.


Five steps toward a secure metaverse

Timeframe: 1.7.2023 - 30.6.2026

July - December 2023


Fundamentals and development of legal requirements and user expectations

January - June 2024


Meetings with partner organizations, initial workshops with experts and focus group discussions

April - December 2024


Launch of online surveys to gather user needs and expectations for privacy-friendly design practices

January - December 2025


Field experiments and roadmap for the utilization of the project results for the various target groups even after project completion

June 2026


Presentation of the results at the closing event


Our Team

Picture of Prof. Dr. Thorun in black and white

Prof. Dr. Christian Thorum


Christian is the Managing Director of the ConPolicy Institute and an expert in consumer policy issues. In the PRiME project, he leads the research consortium and is responsible for successfully implementing the overall project.

Headshot of Dr. Kettner in black and white

Dr. Sara Elisa Kettner

Project Lead

As a behavioural economist, Sara manages consumer policy projects in the field of responsible digitalization at ConPolicy. She leads the PRiME project and is responsible for the overall coordination of the work packages and project management and planning. She is also involved in the empirical work.

headshot of Dr. Otmar Lell

Dr. Otmar Lell

Project Team| Data Protection

Otmar brings insights from his other research activities into the incentive effects of business models for user interfaces and design practices. He also conducts focus group discussions with citizens on their expectations of a consumer-friendly metaverse.

Picture of Gesine Marks

Gesine Marks

Project Team | Communication

Gesine communicates for the ConPolicy Institute and is responsible for its overall public image. She also takes on this role in the PRiME project. She translates the research team's findings for the public and supports the transfer of knowledge.

Portrait Benedikt Morschheuser

Prof. Dr. Benedikt Morschheuser

Sub-Project Lead | Metaverse Research

Benedikt heads the Gamification Research Group at FAU. In the project, Benedikt is in charge of the work packages at FAU. A particular focus here is on the development of design knowledge for a privacy-friendly metaverse.

Headshot of Jeanine Kirchner-Krath

Dr. Jeanine Kirchner-Krath

Project Team | Metaverse Reasearch

Jeanine is a postdoctoral researcher in the Gamification Research Group at FAU. Together with Runjie, Jeanine is responsible for the implementation of FAU's work packages and contributes in particular the perspective of HCI research. She is also a member of the communication working group.

Headshot of Runjie Xie

Runjie Xie

Project Team | Metaverse Reasearch

Runjie is a research associate in the Gamification Research Group at FAU. Runjie develops design knowledge for a privacy-friendly metaverse.

headshot of Andreas Wiebe

Prof. Dr. Andreas Wiebe

Sub-Project Lead | Data Protection Law

Andreas chairs the Department of Civil Law, Competition and Intellectual Property Law, Media and Information Law at the University of Göttingen. He is in charge of the project section for legal analysis, in particular data protection.

headshot of Dipl. Jur. Bünning

Felix Bünning

Project Team | Data Protection Law

Felix is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. In the PRiME project, he develops solutions for data protection issues.

Photo of Tom Hubert

Tom Hubert

Project Team | Data Protection Law

Tom is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. In the PRiME project, he develops solutions for data protection issues.

headshot of Markus Meyer

Markus Mayer

Project Team | Data Protection Law

Markus is a research assistant and doctoral candidate at the Georg-August University of Göttingen. In the PRiME project, he develops solutions for data protection issues.

Dr. Specht-Riemenschneider

Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider

Sub-Project Lead | Personal Rights

Louisa is a legal scholar and university lecturer at the University of Bonn. She is in charge of the sub-project for legal analyses, in particular personal rights.

Headshot of Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Project Team | Personal Rights

Michael works as a research assistant at the chair of Prof. Dr. Louisa Specht-Riemenschneider in Bonn, where he is doing his doctorate on issues of privacy protection. Michael conducts research at the University of Bonn on issues of privacy protection in the metaverse.

Headshot of Thomas Lenz

Thomas Lenz

Project Assistant | Personal Rights

Thomas works as a student assistant at the chair of Prof. Specht-Riemenschneider in Bonn. Thomas supports the Bonn project partners in their work, particularly in terms of public relations.

(Former) student Employees