E-STASI: Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens. “The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents.”
The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”
Others are less sanguine about its wider purpose.
No matter what Beijing claims about “trust” or “sincerity,” by definition, a high-trust society can’t be built from the top down. However it is possible with modern tools to build a surveillance state where everyone is both Winston Smith and the telescreen.