As an interested and alerted reader on topics where technology meets sociology in the broader sense, many of us are likely noticing an increase in coverage of so called social score projects and experiments. Perhaps you feel like me and you notice a shiver when elaborating on this topic.
Since the most decisive activities in this space take place in China, you find a lot of coverage on their local activities. And it is worth taking a closer look. Right now it all follows the principle “technology / big data / data analytics meets authoritarian state/government”. A scary but in fact a “no brainer” situation. Since there are always tendencies in certain interest groups or parties even in western-style democracies to intrude our private lifes and dilluting privacy laws, we should in fact be carefully watching what is going on and what is possible.
This here is a brilliant piece of journalism by WIRED‘s Mara Hvistendahl. Take the time for this long read. It matters to all of us.
My most alarming quote: “But when he entered his name and national ID number, the app informed him that the transaction wouldn’t go through because he was on the Supreme People’s Court blacklist. This list—literally, the List of Dishonest People—is the same one that is integrated into Zhima Credit.”
You will learn more on Zhima Credit, their activities and the relation with Chinese government activities in the article.
Read the full article here: In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society | WIRED