China’s Orwellian Social Credit Score Isn’t Real, by Jamie Horsley – Foreign Policy
Blacklists and monitoring systems are nowhere close to Black Mirror fantasies.
(…) China’s party-state is collecting a vast amount of information on its citizens, and its social credit system and other developments internally and overseas raise many serious concerns. But contrary to the mainstream media narrative on this, Chinese authorities are not assigning a single score that will determine every aspect of every citizen’s life—at least not yet. (…)
The scope, scale, diversity, and language of the evolving system have caused a lot of confusion, particularly with respect to the existence of a single social credit score. There is no such thing as a national “social credit score.”
A few dozen towns and cities in China, as well as private companies running loyalty-type programs for their customers, do currently compute scores, primarily to determine rewards or access to various programs. That was the source of at least some of the confusion. Alibaba’s Sesame Credit program, for instance, which gives rewards on Alibaba’s platforms and easier access to credit through a linked company, was often cited as a precursor of a planned government program, despite being a private enterprise.