Should the Government have a “credit score” model for measuring how “good” a citizen is?
In this increasingly convoluted and politicized the world, it is indeed difficult to surprise the jaded but informed observer. Still, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has really outdone itself with its latest efforts to improve upon the standard credit score algorithm used by most of the world.
First, a little background – Credit scores have been used throughout the United States and the rest of the Western world for decades. They help companies establish who might be a good credit risk from who might be a bad one. Basically, they check your overall level of credit, your payment history, and few other financially related factors and then rate your likeliness to repay a loan you are given. It is pretty standard stuff with no insidious overtones although it is rather important.
Next, the twist – China has broadened this tactic to create a “citizen score” for its inhabitants. In addition to checking the websites their citizen’s view, they also take a look at what they are saying on social media sites, what they are buying, and who they are linked to on those same sites.
Finally, a look at reality – It is a truly scary scenario and one that is fraught with danger for those involved. Not only are a person’s actions being monitored but also those of their closest personal friends and business colleagues. The upshot is that a person can attain a truly horrible score – and possibly be named an “enemy of the state” – by simply associating with the wrong group of people.
What does it mean here in the West – While this type of citizen scoring is not likely to arrive here in the West anytime soon, it is possible that it could serve as a wake-up call to everyone who distrusts government control in general? It is also an excellent indicator of how powerful credit scores have become in our society. Affecting everything from insurance premiums to job promotions, apartment leases, and home mortgages. Which is why it is so important to take control of your score today.
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