CHINA'S dystopian 'social credit' system, which was preempted in the Black Mirror episode Nose Dive, could be up and running as soon as 2021.
Bloomberg reports that Bejing residents will be targeted first, with their starting score based on their standing at the end of 2020.
The scheme will reward as well as punish citizens by combining data from several departments including credit reference and crime agencies.
A menacing announcement from the government has warned that those blacklisted will be "unable to move even a single step", suggesting that there may be crews whose sole job is to embed them in concrete.
Reward credit will be offered for community outreach and other "pro-social behaviours" such as charity work and blood donations.
22 million Bejing residents will be assessed, knowing that they too could face the issues that Hangzhou residents have had to deal with since the introduction of a similar scheme there.
The National Development and Reform Commission claims to have already blocked four million high-speed train trips and 11 million flights in the rollout there.
Everything from what kind of tourist you are, how you behave on buses, your driving context to feedback from customers about your business will contribute to the final score.
Escaping it will be difficult because so much of Chinese life requires a government ID in order to access services which are largely centralised by centralised services like Alipay and China Telecom, which in turn link to phone numbers that act as an ID number.
It's worth noting that most of these organisations are either part-owned or part of the government and so getting this type of data won't be hard to organise.
Add to that the NFC tagging of vehicles, facial recognition on CCTV and even emotional sentiment monitoring in classrooms and it all makes up for a state that you really don't want to get on the wrong side of.
Just remember - never say "it couldn't happen here". μ
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