Most people are familiar with credit scores and how they impact a persons ability to take out a homeowner loan or other type of borrowing. Now, some countries are looking to social credit scores to ‘manage’ their population. China are the most widely reported, but of course, there is plenty of speculation as to whether this could roll out to other countries in the future.
While population management to prevent chaos, such as enforcement of basic laws is reasonable, social credit scoring tends to take this to the next level.
COULD YOU SURVIVE THE SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE?
We’re all familiar with ‘credit scores’, where financial institutions track how responsible you are with your hard-earned money to assign you a value determining the loans and cards you are eligible to apply for.
However, a new scoring system being trialled in China.
HOW WOULD THE SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE AFFECT ME?
This system monitors a lot more than your financial savviness. It involves governmental and financial institutions ranking your everyday behaviour – both online and via CCTV monitoring – and has been dubbed the ‘social credit score’.
Essentially, everything from the way you spend your money and behave on social media to the people you associate with would affect your score and whether you are rewarded or punished.
WHAT ARE THE PUNISHMENTS FOR HAVING A BAD SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE?
The idea of punishing people for not complying with the wishes of the state is clearly alarming, but that’s exactly what happens with a social credit system. While missing a few payments might mean you pay a slightly higher interest rate on borrowing, as is the case with bad credit homeowner loans, social credit takes this to the next level.
The punishments include:
- Slower internet connections
- Travel restrictions
- Banning people from flights
- Being barred from getting business-class train tickets
- Being refused access to the best hotels
- Your children can be banned from higher education
- You could be prevented from getting the best jobs
- Pets being taken off you
- No access to credit
IS THE UK READY FOR A SOCIAL CREDIT SYSTEM?
While nothing is confirmed about rolling out such a system in the UK, it could happen at some stage.
Frankly, a social credit system makes it far easier to manage large populations, but heavily reduces individual freedoms and is not a healthy amount of power to put in the hands of so few.
In terms of infrastructure, it is possible that such a system could be rolled out at some stage, but thankfully, talk of it seems to have subsided for now.
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