An XR (extended reality) community researcher has managed to bypass the Facebook login requirement on the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. Doing so means a Facebook account isn't required to use the device, but sadly, it's not that simple for everyday users.
What does this Oculus Quest 2 jailbreak mean?
This news comes via XR (extended reality) portal Ready Hacker One. Due to the fact that Oculus ceased to be an autonomous company and became a part of Facebook, the Quest 2 headset requires users to have a Facebook account in order to access any of its services. The XR researcher's jailbreak would bypass that requirement, meaning users could access the Quest 2 and modify it or simply use it without needing a Facebook account to do so. This jailbreak has been verified by the XRSI (XR Safety Initiative), meaning it has been confirmed to be successful.
There are, unfortunately, concerns around this achievement. Speaking to TechRaptor, the XRSI said that its CEO Kavya Pearlman has "taken a tremendous risk" by ensuring that the individuals who discovered this particular jailbreak are protected from potential legal ramifications. The US Right to Repair government legislation protects users attempting to repair and modify electronic devices from legal retaliation, but there's currently no specific proviso in that legislation for extended reality devices such as the Oculus Quest 2.
The XRSI told us that in its opinion, as long as the Facebook login mandate remains, "a jailbreak attempt is likely to happen" repeatedly due to users feeling uncomfortable about said mandate. As such, founder Kavya Pearlman says this is a chance for Facebook to "build bridges and not build more walls" by not listening to its community. According to the XRSI, creators "should not feel forced" to give their creations to a social media platform that isn't consistent with their own ethics or business decisions.
Will this allow Oculus Quest 2 users to bypass Facebook login?
As of August 2020, all new Oculus devices - including Quest 2 - require a Facebook account to access, whether or not you've already got an Oculus account. Previous Oculus devices will allow you to continue using your Oculus account until 2023, at which point you'll need to integrate your Facebook credentials to continue getting updates for the device. Plenty of users don't have Facebook or would rather not integrate their accounts, but if they've got a Quest 2, they don't have any choice right now.
As it stands, widespread availability for the Oculus Quest 2 jailbreak process is unfortunately not looking likely in the immediate term. Gaining root access to the Oculus Quest 2 remains a difficult task for an average user, so until the murky legal waters of this process are cleared up, it's unlikely the procedure required to jailbreak the Quest 2 will be accessible for consumers.
Why is bypassing the Facebook login important?
Put simply, bypassing the Facebook login process wouldn't just allow users to repair or modify their device. There are also a number of other concerns surrounding the Quest 2 requiring a Facebook account to use. Some users who are creating new Facebook accounts for Quest 2 usage are being automatically blocked, seemingly with no rationale. There are other issues with Facebook account creation - many of them seemingly revolving around arcane automated processes - that are preventing users from making accounts or blocking them from using their new accounts.
In addition, if you've ever thought about quitting Facebook, you can think again if you have an Oculus Quest 2. Deleting or deactivating your Facebook account means you won't be able to access your Quest 2 VR content anymore. If you delete the account, you will completely lose access to all of your content permanently. All of this is not to mention issues surrounding Facebook's content moderation system, which can arbitrarily ban users, or how the Quest 2 collects privacy and VR usage data from you when you use it. With all that in mind, it's fairly obvious why some users are looking to distance themselves from the Facebook login process.
How do you feel about this Oculus Quest 2 jailbreak? Let us know in the comments below!