Thanks to its affordability and ease of use, the Oculus Quest 2 is perhaps the best virtual reality headset out there. But Oculus is owned by Facebook, and last year the company began requiring Quest owners have an account on the social media platform to use its VR gear.
That creates a moral dilemma for anyone who doesn’t want to be swallowed by Facebook’s gaping maw — you want to enjoy the Quest 2, but you’re philosophically opposed to Facebook’s practices. Fortunately, there is one way to get a Quest 2 without handing over any personal data to Facebook: You can buy a business-oriented version of the headset... but it’s double the price of a regular one.
The Oculus for Business program has been around since 2019 and offers corporations a version of the Quest 2 that comes with enterprise-grade security, 24/7 customer support, and bulk device management. But most importantly for you, it doesn’t require a Facebook login.
Trade-off — That freedom comes at a price, however. At $799 for a 256GB version, the only storage option available, the enterprise Quest 2 is $400 more than its comparable consumer version. And you’ll need to pay $180 annually for access to the enterprise software that allows you to sideload apps, because you won’t be able to buy from the Oculus Store without a standard, Facebook-linked account.
Enterprises are typically willing to pay more on equipment than consumers. Facebook isn’t able to collect valuable data for ad targeting from business customers, and they aren’t spending money on games, instead sideloading their own custom apps. Hence the price.
That Oculus doesn’t require a Facebook account from enterprise customers is no surprise. Data privacy is crucial for businesses, which wouldn’t want to risk Facebook getting access to sensitive information (particularly given its propensity to copy potential competitors). On its website, Oculus emphasizes that its business program “follows strict data handling and security protocols to store headset data and ensure that our customers own the data associated with their devices.”
To be sure, by purchasing the enterprise version of the Quest 2, you’re still supporting Facebook financially. But in a way that may be more agreeable than giving up your personal information. You’ll have to find an authorized seller of Oculus for Business headsets, however, and hope they’ll sell you one. But if you pull it off, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing Facebook isn’t harvesting your personal information.
Business applications — Enterprise use of virtual reality is still a nascent area. The technology could be useful for training, where employees can be placed in replicas of real-world scenarios and learn how to complete a task before they go out into the field and actually do it for themselves. In California, for instance, the Sacramento Police Department recently began using virtual reality simulators to train its officers.