In this new digital era, every people’s action contributes to the creation of big data. Three major actors plays within the exchange of data to have services in return: people, companies and governments. And will people, companies and governments be able to work together to build a world based on data trading? If this is the main question, Social Credit System is one of the possible future answer.
The Social Credit System (SCS) is a national reputation system in development by the Chinese Government. The system will give to each Chinese citizen a score by 2020, based not only on their identity online but also on their behaviour offline, starting from what they buy to what they do on a daily basis. It is a form of mass surveillance based on the analysis of big data: this is one of the reasons why Social Credit System is a huge controversial topic, at least in the western world. The government’s goal is to raise awareness for integrity and loyalty, raising up the level of credibility within the society and to assess the trustworthiness and compliance of each individual. The government will collect citizens’ behaviour’s data from their personal accounts, working with Chinese Internet giants companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent. Basically, the government is planning to give rewards and benefits to the citizens with a high score, and some severe punishments to the ones with a low score, for example flight bans.
What we wanted to do was to analyze the big controversial discussion around this topic, trying to understand at first the main correlated themes, who talks about it and how and what is the general perception. We wanted to keep a duality within this process: since Social Credit System is a Chinese topic, we always analyzed also the Chinese counterpart. At a certain point though, we understood that in China there isn’t a strong controversy, due to the fact that Chinese people have a different cultural baggage and, compared to security they don’t care a lot about their privacy. For the majority of the Chinese people is somewhat normal that the government scores them; also because they strongly think that this system will lower the high rate of criminality that is present nowadays. For them, the pros overcome the cons. On the contrary, in the western world, it isn’t like this at all. The majority of people are afraid or concerned about this system. They think it’s simply a lack of privacy and most of them wouldn’t be spied.
In the following analysis we investigated the debate around the topic according to these two different perspectives.