December 27, 2017, Social Credit System is a topic that currently appears on almost every news site. SCS is an initiative of the Chinese authorities, which The purpose of financial transactions is to give citizens a certain number of points. Persons rated higher and thus more socially credible can count on a number of privileges. Citizens with fewer points may face certain fines. Despite numerous controversies, the project is to enter into force as early as 2020.
When does fiction become reality, or what is the Social Credit System?
Although work on the enigmatic Social Credit System project has been going on in China for over three years, relatively recently this topic has aroused vivid interest in the world. The English name Social Credit System (SCS) in Poland is usually translated as the Social Trust System or the Social Credibility System.
This scheme, using a special algorithm, will use data from larger feedback aggregators and social networking sites to assess Chinese citizens. What is worth emphasizing will be accompanied by a special system of penalties and rewards. This project is to enter into force in the near future – in 2020, which according to the Chinese government will be the beginning of a better life.
Eight designated companies from the Chinese government oversee the creation and implementation of the system. Among them, we can mention, among others WeChat (a service that is an alternative to the popular Facebook) and Good Credit. Interestingly, the Chinese authorities have been preparing for years to launch SCS, preparing at the time the so-called helper programs. Databases of fingerprints, biometric face data, voice recordings and DNA codes of Chinese residents are created, i.e. over 1.3 billion people.
Most experts immediately noticed the connection of the Social Credit System with the dystopian vision of the future described by George Orwell in the book 1984. In addition, some believe that this project refers to one of the episodes of the iconic Black Mirror series, which the title heroine did everything to achieve the greatest number of stars. Only people with high scores could enjoy public recognition and acceptance.
Social Credit System – how will Chinese citizens build their social trust?
Knowing the main outline of the Social Credit System, it is worth finding out how Chinese citizens can build their social credibility. At the beginning, it is worth mentioning that each user will be subject to a special assessment. Initially, Chinese residents will be able to score from 350 to even 950 points. Naturally, a person with a higher rating will be considered a trusted and credible citizen.
So what will it look like in practice?
This system, by checking the data on the payment card and the current obligation to show proof, will check where and what citizens buy and whether they pay off their obligations conscientiously. Therefore, Chinese residents will have to take care of their creditworthiness.
In addition, thanks to internet control
the system will verify what residents are watching, how much time they spend playing games, and what content they post on social networks. As Lil Yingyun himself, a representative of Alibaba, says – “Someone who, for example, plays computer games 10 hours a day, will be treated as an idle person.” What’s more, thanks to numerous cameras placed on the streets with a built-in face recognition system and geolocation in smartphones, all information about where and most importantly whom citizens meet with will be recorded.
Such data will be supplemented by opinions expressed by others towards a specific person. Therefore, the scores will be influenced by the statements of friends, employers, Internet users, and even the tax office. Then all the above information will go to special, still tested software, which, according to the key indicated by the authorities, will assess residents on an ongoing basis.