(19.3.2019) When a Dutch cybersecurity researcher disclosed last month that Chinese security contractor SenseNets left a massive facial recognition database tracking the movements of over 2.5 million people in China’s Xinjiang province unsecured on the internet, it briefly shone a spotlight on the alarming scope of the Chinese surveillance state.
But SenseNets is a symptom of a much larger phenomenon: Tech firms in the United States are lending expertise, reputational credence, and even technology to Chinese surveillance companies, wittingly or otherwise.
Postman’s key point was that Big Brother didn’t need to bother watching John Doe or controlling him, because John Doe probably was already willing to be controlled by forces that rendered him harmless to Big Brother. Postman argued that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was more prescient than Orwell’s 1984, because in his book Huxley portrayed a citizenry perfectly willing to give up its most sacred possessions for trivial things.
This may all sound frightening, but a system devised by human beings to control others can also be controlled, if you know what you’re doing. If you’re a true entrepreneur, then you see the opportunity in every social evolution. And big changes mean even bigger opportunities. Are you ready?
New York entrepreneur and Democratic 2020 candidate Andrew Yang wants to implement a system in which a government-run mobile app rewards Americans with “digital social credits” (DSCs) for good behavior.
Americans would receive DSCs under Yang’s system for things such as “participating in a town fair,” “fixing a neighbor’s appliance” or “tutoring a student,” his presidential campaign website explains.
To use Jamie Horsley’s argument in Foreign Policy, „China’s Orwellian social credit score isn’t real…There is no such thing as a national ’social credit score‘.“
Apart from the (negative) political implications of the work-in-progress social credit system, we should also consider the economic implication of such a system.
In addition to more mundane areas like whether you pay your community charge on time, the system’s reputational algorithm will also factor in your choice of online friends. That person who complains about how the government is doing its job could suddenly cost you some serious social cred. Befriend too many wrongthinkers and you could quickly find yourself classed as a wrongthinker too.
(11.2.2019) „We’re beginning to see it already where insurance companies affect your premium based on whether you’re eating healthy, getting a good night’s sleep or getting enough exercise,“ he said, adding that the need for Congress to act is urgent.
But Chertoff said the emphasis needs to change from how do we keep things confidential, and instead pass laws that focus on who controls the data once it’s been generated.
(22. Oktober 2016)
The ambition is to collect every scrap of information available online about China’s companies and citizens in a single place — and then assign each of them a score based on their political, commercial, social and legal “credit.”
The government hasn’t announced exactly how the plan will work — for example, how scores will be compiled and different qualities weighted against one another. But the idea is that good behavior will be rewarded and bad behavior punished, with the Communist Party acting as the ultimate judge.
(23.10.2018) The idea is simple: By keeping and aggregating records throughout the government’s various ministries and departments, Chinese officials can gain insight into how people behave and develop ways to control them.
The goal writes Rogier Creemers, a postdoctoral scholar specializing in the law and governance of China at Leiden University in The Netherlands, is “cybernetic” behavioral control, allowing individuals to be monitored and immediately confronted with the consequences of their actions. In so doing, authorities can enhance the county’s expanding surveillance apparatus.