A few years ago, in a book called The Game’s Afoot (published in 2018), I wrote that the Chinese Government was giving people marks according to behaviour. It was I wrote, called social engineering, and citizens were being ranked and rated according to their behaviour.
‘The Government,’ I said, ‘will measure people’s behaviour in order to decide what services they are entitled to. Anyone who incurs black marks for traffic offences, fare dodging or jay walking will find that they are no longer entitled to the full range of public services and rights. Moreover, internet activity will also be used to assess behaviour. Individuals who do bad things on the internet (or whose searches are considered questionable) will find themselves ‘black marked’. Individuals who have ‘responsible’ jobs will be subjected to enhanced scrutiny.’
It was called a social credit score and I wrote then that it was likely that Western Governments would soon follow suit.
And they are doing so with great enthusiasm. It might not have obviously reached your town just yet – but it will, oh it will.
China has led the way because the Chinese system is more ruthlessly efficient than anything the West can offer. The Chinese government has more control over everything and the people don’t have much control over anything.
It works very easily.
Everyone starts off with so many points.
And a smart app on every phone measures behaviour and helps the authorities decide whether or not you are good citizen.
There are, of course, video cameras absolutely everywhere watching to see whether you cross the road at the wrong time, smoke in public, throw down litter or do anything considered anti-social or inappropriate. If you talk to the wrong sort of people you’ll find your credit rating goes down. Stand and talk to me and you’ll get black marks.
China has one camera for every two people and they’re equipped with facial recognition technology that can pick an individual out of a football crowd in less time than it takes to say `surely they can’t do that!’
Supermarket computers watch to see how much you spend on alcohol, cigarettes, sweets and fatty foods. You’ll lose points if you spend too much on the wrong sort of food.