China Plans to Ban People With Bad ‘Social Credit’ From Flights and Trains

A social ranking system featured in an episode of Netflix’x Black Mirror may become a reality in China.

China will soon be imposing strict penalties for those with low “scores” on its so-called “social credit” system. In May, people who have committed acts of “serious dishonor” will reportedly be unable to travel on trains or flights for up to a year.

A feature in Wired shed light on the new system, which is linked to the mobile payment platform Alipay and designed to test the trustworthiness of citizens. All that data is fed into a computer algorithm that calculates a citizen’s trust score.

People who would be put on the restricted lists included those found to have committed acts like spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains, according to two statements issued on the National Development and Reform Commission’s website on Friday.

Higher ratings will be rewarded with everything from cheaper public transport, to shorter waits at hospitals, while low ranking citizens will have restricted access to come hotels and restaurants, and a slower internet speed.

Big brother is watching. If citizens do something bad such as a cancel a reservation, leave a dishonest review, or more worryingly, if they’re friends with someone ‘bad’ on social media then their points will go down.

The system, says Sesame Credit CEO Lucy Peng, “will ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.” This is meant literally: Video surveillance will track everyone through facial recognition.

Beijing aims to have the program running by 2020; pilot versions are underway in some 30 cities.

Source: Reuters