Early in January of this year, several web giants unveiled pilot programs in what effectively could become a soft social credit system before 2030. By way of explanation, China’s social credit system (in effect for seven years now) is a combination of government and business surveillance that gives citizens a “score” that can restrict the ability of individuals to take actions — such as purchasing plane tickets, acquiring property or taking loans — because of behaviors. Given the position of several major American companies, a similar system may be coming here sooner than you think.
The potential scope of the soft social credit system under construction is enormous. The same companies that can track your activities and give you corporate rewards for compliant behavior could utilize their powers to block transactions, add surcharges or restrict your use of products. At what point does free speech make someone a target in this new system? When does your debit card get canceled over old tweets, your home loan denied for homeschooling your kids, or your eBay account invalidated because a friend flagged you for a post they simply didn’t like?”
In August, PayPal announced a partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center to “investigate” the role of propagators of “anti-government” rhetoric, subjective labels that potentially could impact a large number of groups or people using their service. PayPal says the collected information will be shared with other financial firms and politicians. Facebook is taking similar measures.
Peer pressure, trendy causes and movements, and the ability to comply with the new system with the click of a mouse combine all of the worst elements of a society more dependent on their social media profile than is healthy. As it grows in breadth and power, what may be most surprising about our new social credit system won’t be collective fear of it, but rather how quickly most people will fall in line.The Hill
We’ll be keeping a very close eye on this concerning issue and will report updates as they develop.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.