social credit

Why is Social Credit System Bad?

People can be penalized for bad driving or stealing, but not for buying just so many computer games. A social credit system consists of a collection of systems and programs that monitor and analyze the integrity of citizens, businesses, and government bodies. A positive rating may entitle persons to preferential health treatment or deposit-free housing projects, whilst a lower score may result in them being barred from flying or taking trains. The majority of the information comes from mainstream forms like financial, legal, and administrative data and available information from registered agencies and third-party resources such as internet payment systems (Chorzempa et al., 2018). The Chinese government is working with data collection methods such as surveillance footage and actual data transmissions, such as tracking factory emissions; however, they are not regarded as main sources. The social credit system could further lead to severe self-censorship and restrict some freedom and rights by invading their privacy.

If all of the systems works, once all data is integrated, and a credit profile for an individual is built, changing this identity will be extremely difficult. This is tricky because the social credit system includes real-world ramifications. This digital biography of a person will have significant repercussions: one may not even be able to obtain the financing they require to purchase a home due to poor social credit. Due to a major poor social reputation, one may be unable to obtain automobile insurance and must rely on public transportation (Liang et al., 2018). Many individuals believe that these effects will not harm them since they live a decent life. Besides, that is the goal of every social credit system: to compel individuals to live decent lives. Currently, each corporation and government agency possesses only a portion of data. Nevertheless, all internet data will likely be linked within the future. This has already been occurring if we utilize many Google products. However, as monitoring technologies improve, internet businesses will discover a method to integrate data collected across facilities, such as a Google account being integrated with the Facebook account and linked with the insurance account.

The most critical issue with the social credit system is with the concept of good. A good score for businesses may signify repeat clients who buy too many items and spend excessively. For authorities, a good person could imply those who obey the rules but do not speak openly always about what the government determines. In either case, either a citizen wants to favor a firm in the hopes of receiving a better bargain or a government, whatever type of social credit system would result in self-censorship. A citizen will never longer share photos from the last night’s celebration on social networks for concern of raising the healthcare premiums (Creemers, 2018). Otherwise, a student will never again publish images from the rally they attended because they are afraid that authorities will not allow them to attend university. Thus, when used wrongly by the government, the social credit score is a dangerous weapon against the citizens.

Social credit schemes stifle free expression. Many constitutional amendments safeguard freedom of expression, and for a valid reason. We could only debate any topic freely, create new ideas, and transform our democracy into good areas for everybody if we have free speech. Even while no governmental actor attempts to install one such system in Democratic countries, the threat remains. Like their personal credit score, an individual’s overall score can fluctuate based on their activity (Creemers, 2018). The actual process is unknown, but instances of offenses include reckless driving, cigarettes in non-smoking areas, purchasing too many computer games, and spreading false information online, particularly regarding terrorist attacks and aviation security and spending a lot of video gaming, squandering money on pointless goods, and posting online potentially penalized infractions (Liang et al., 2018). A positive rating will result in benefits, but a bad rating may result in an individual or organization being penalized or penalized.  People who are judged dishonest may suffer a range of limitations in loans, aviation and train travel, and schooling. Citizens with a strong social reputation could also enjoy energy bill savings, no-deposit rentals, and good interest prices at institutions.

In conclusion, by breaching individual privacy, the social credit system may lead to even more severe self-censorship and restrict citizens’ freedom. This is the main reason for its criticism. Although having major benefits to the civilization, such as giving gifts and offers to good citizens, privacy is still breached. Some people consider the Chinese social credit system evil because a non-democratic government plans to use this to force its inhabitants to obey the laws, but the personal social credit systems already forming in our countries are no safer. Because of all-around domestic spying, most citizens will strive to show themselves inside the best light possible, whenever and everywhere, including private discussions. Such a life is unhealthy for a democratic country in such a modern world.

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Chorzempa, M., Triolo, P., & Sacks, S. (2018). China’s social credit system: A mark of progress or a threat to privacy?

Creemers, R. (2018). China’s Social Credit System: An evolving practice of control. Available at SSRN 3175792.

Liang, F., Das, V., Kostyuk, N., & Hussain, M. M. (2018). Constructing a data-driven society: China’s social credit system as a state surveillance infrastructure. Policy & Internet, 10(4), 415–453.