China’s social credit system isn’t a world first but when it’s complete it will be unique. The system isn’t just as simple as everyone being given a score though

China’s social credit system has been compared to Black Mirror, Big Brother and every other dystopian future sci-fi writers can think up. The reality is more complicated — and in some ways, worse.

The idea for social credit came about back in 2007, with projects announced by the government as an opt-in system in 2014. But there’s a difference between the official government system and private, corporate versions, though the latter’s scoring system that includes shopping habits and friendships is often conflated with the former.

Brits are well accustomed to credit checks: data brokers such as Experian trace the timely manner in which we pay our debts, giving us a score that’s used by lenders and mortgage providers. We also have social-style scores, and anyone who has shopped online with eBay has a rating on shipping times and communication, while Uber drivers and passengers both rate each other; if your score falls too far, you’re out of luck.

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Nicole Kobie – Wired – January 21, 2019.

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