The Black Mirror episode about social credit is coming to life in China. The Chinees government is allowing data gathering and has given licenses to eight private companies to develop systems and algorithms for determining social credit scores.
The plan is to design and enroll the population in a vast national database. This database compiles fiscal and government information on an individual. The data collection will range from minor traffic violations and other metrics TBD and will end up providing a ranking for each citizen.
The system is currently system studying the population. But, it is predicted to provide a state-approved “social credit” score for individuals. This project could provide companies and government financial information, risk information, and other unique database offerings.
It could get as extreme that users could flaunt their good credit scores to friends and even potential dates. This credit score could incorporate itself in the matchmaking industry, among many others. Another example is individuals could potentially get discounts on bills, rent, and other activities without the need for deposits. Individuals could also gain better interest rates at banks.
“China’s Social Credit Score” pic.twitter.com/JJSzTx5AMt
— KHRoN (@khron) November 16, 2020
Human rights activists worry about this system and are fearful if it falls into the wrong hands. (If it has not already). The scoring system has the potential to be manipulated for profit or by governments. There is no telling what social behaviors could end up being pushed. The fear is this system could act more like a propaganda tool rather than a tool for enforcement of good conduct.