China's Social Credit System . . . Are You Kidding Me?


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China's Social Credit System . . . Are You Kidding Me?
Written By: June Bachman ~ 8/11/2018 9:00:00 AM


You may have watched the Black Mirror episode Nosedive (Season 3, Episode 1). This episode explores society’s obsession with social media rankings; how many likes, followers, shares do your posts receive? What if our social media ranking expanded to the extent of influencing everything we do, decisions we make; how we are ranked and perceived by society? Simply put … a little scary to think about how far our social media obsession could evolve.

Thankfully, the Black Mirror episode is just an exploration into a world where how we move in society is determined by high ranking social media results. . . . or is it?

Recently, China blocked over nine million people from traveling on planes and trains – due to low social credit scores.

In 2014, China created a nationwide social credit scoring system. Every reputation of individuals, businesses and even government officials are being tracked and scored. China’s goal is to create a perfect socialist market economy, while strengthening the governance of society. The Social Credit System is design to not only regulate the economy, but also steer the behavior of its citizens.

Data collected and analyzed to determine citizens social credit worthiness include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Locations
  • Friends
  • Health records
  • Insurance companies
  • Private messages
  • Financial situations
  • Gaming durations
  • Smart home statistics
  • Newspaper preferences
  • Shopping history
  • Dating behavior

To improve your social credit score, citizens are encouraged to:

  • Donate blood
  • Volunteer
  • Recycle

However, low social credit scores can result in being blacklisted from:

  • Buying property
  • Taking out loans
  • Traveling on trains or planes
  • Best academic schools
  • Fast internet speeds
  • Staying at good hotels

Rewards for having high social credit scores include:

  • Easier access to loans
  • Easier access to jobs
  • Government priority during paperwork
  • Discounted energy bills
  • Lower rent
  • Better interest rates at banks

Gratefully, we aren’t in China. However, with all the data being collected about us each and every day, without awareness, we could easily evolve into such a dystopian world.

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