fredag 26. juli 2019

China wants to track and grade each citizen’s actions — it’s in the testing phase

The Chinese government is forging ahead with official efforts to create a national social credit system, even as several academic analysts doubt whether authorities can ever reach that goal. Beijing affirmed its commitment last month to building out social credit, a plan which has sparked fears that the government will gain overt control over ordinary people’s lives. At its core, the proposed system tries to create a standard for trust by tracking individual actions across Chinese society, and rewarding or punishing accordingly.

It’s unclear how fairly such a system could impose penalties on individuals, or how easy it would be to get off blacklists. Still, authorities already claim to have the records of 990 million individuals and 25.91 million enterprises, as the central government runs up against a self-imposed 2020 deadline to formulate a nationwide social credit plan that includes the capital city.

Since the push to build a social credit system kicked off in earnest five years ago, a few dozen pilot programs have emerged with varying tracking metrics, and consequences for violations. In many respects, the measures are China’s attempt to manufacture a more law-abiding society in a country where respect for contracts has a far shorter history than that of the U.S. or England.