“FICO” Scores for the Government to judge “Trustworthiness”

by | Nov 26, 2021 | Data | 1 comment

>> How Technology Brought Us Together, and Why it Might Drive Us Apart?

Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviors are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number.


China implemented a Social Credit System, a plan that the Chinese government made mandatory for all its citizens in 2014.

“It’s like a credit score system, but instead of just financial information, this one will also pull together a person’s political leanings, purchase history and even their social interactions to calculate their “trust score.”

What kinds of behavior that could bring a person’s score down?

What are the potential perks of having a high “trust score”; the consequences of a low one?

A great book on the subject, by Rachel Botsman:

Who Can You Trust?

How Technology Brought Us Together, and Why it Might Drive Us Apart?

1 Comment

  1. John Reilly

    One of my comments to “Who Can You Trust: One chapter that stands out for me is Chapter 7 that focuses on the upcoming Chinese Social Credit System in which the mass of Big Data being collected will be used by the government to create social credit scores somewhat similar to FICO scores but on a much more comprehensive scale. There is an enormous amount of personal data that is being amassed by major business networks in China such as Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Tencent’s WeChat with more than 850 million users.
    Using data collected from social media channels, financial records, digital payments, online matchmaking, shopping behaviors, Airbnb, Fitbit, ride-hailing companies, you name it, the system will have algorithms to determine a “trustworthy score” from 350 to 950 and the results will dictate whether a person is eligible for certain jobs, access to social benefits, whether their children can attend certain schools, restrictions on travel, ability to get loans, etc.
    This is not fiction. The algorithms to determine one’s level of trustworthiness or untrustworthiness are being structured now. The government announced that by 2020 participation will be mandatory for all 1.3 billion citizens. That’s a lot of data that will be under the control of the government. And it will affect more than education.
    We’ll want to follow the Chinese Citizen Scores story the next 2 years and see the impact it may have on how our government and business enterprises handle Big Data.


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