Friday Five: Meta launches new digital wallet for metaverse

1. Meta launches new digital wallet for metaverse

Technology firm Meta has launched Meta Pay — a digital wallet to facilitate trading money in the metaverse. The latest development is a rebrand of the former Facebook Pay service, though the current product features and service will remain the same but with additional features.

Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, believes the new digital wallet will provide accessibility to digital goods and proof of ownership in the metaverse. He says customers “might want to create or buy — digital clothing, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events, and more”, and proof of ownership will be vital for transferring some of these items across different services. The company hope Meta Pay will help by giving items a Web3 identify that links digital purchases to a singular digital identity.

2. NHS health service undergoes a digital revolution

The NHS App embarks on a digital revolution to modernise the health system for improved citizen access to personalised care and health information. With an ambition for at least 75% of adults using the new digital features by March 2024, the transformation comes as part of the government’s vision for faster care while saving the health service time and money. Digitising the health sector will also “meet the challenges of 2048 — not 1948, when it was first established,” says Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid.

By March 2023, the updated app will see more users receiving messages from their GP, viewing their medical records online, and managing hospital elective-care appointments. The following December aims to have 90% of NHS trusts roll out electronic patient records (EPRs) and all social-care providers adopting a digital social-care record. In 2024, the app seeks to offer face-to-face video consultations.

3. New laws urgently needed for the use of biometric technologies

An independent legal review — led by Matthew Ryder, QC of Matrix Chambers — found there is an urgent need for new legislation around the use of biometric technologies. Biometric data includes facial recognition, fingerprints, and DNA profiles as well as behavioural traits, such as gait and key-stroke analysis. Previously used almost exclusively for law enforcement, the review acknowledges its use from private and public sectors, such as schools, employers, and shops.

The review discovered that the current legal framework is “fragmented, confused, and failing to keep pace with technological advances”, according to Ryder. He believes biometric data should be utilised with “adequate laws and sufficient regulation” where those who employ it can be certain of the ethical and legal boundaries within which they operate.

4. Amazon restricts LGBTQ goods in UAE

Retail giant Amazon has restricted LGBTQ-related searches on their website in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The firm decided to comply with the government’s appeal after being threatened with penalties. The news comes as Pride month — an annual occasion to celebrate queer people around the world — comes to an end.

Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE, and LGBTQ+ representation is heavily censored; therefore, making references or expressing support for LGBTQ+ rights could be considered a crime. The company has reassured the public they remain committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and advocate LGBTQ+ rights. However, “with Amazon stores around the world, we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate,” an Amazon spokesperson told the BBC.

5. Eudaimonia and the promotion of employee wellbeing

To celebrate Wellbeing Week, our Employee Experience Strategist, Megan Trotter, explored how the concept of eudaimonia contributes to the promotion of employee well-being. Mental health is an increasingly important aspect of the employee experience that organisations need to prioritise. Each year, one in four adults will experience anxiety, depression, or stress, and in 2018, work-related stress alone cost society up to $187 billion [£152 billion].

Plenty of research has shown the benefits to employers for investing in employee well-being, such as increased productivity, reduced turnover, and generally, greater innovation. But what does mental well-being even mean? And what can employers do to craft employee experiences that nurture mental well-being?

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