Beijing to assign ‘personal trustworthiness points’ for all citizens by 2021
Beijing will ascribe all of its residents and companies with “personal trustworthiness points” within three years, as part of China‘s plan to use technology to monitor its population more closely.
The government of China’s capital city, which has a population of nearly 22m people, will use the score to help build a national social credit system designed to reward or punish citizens, according to state media.
The controversial scheme, first announced by the ruling Chinese Communist Party in 2014, will use digital monitoring techniques to measure individual’s financial credit, personal behaviour and corporate mismanagement.
The Beijing government said the points system will improve the city’s business environment by preventing people with low “integrity” from accessing the city’s public services and travel networks. People with a low credit score could also find it difficult to start a businesses or find work.
People who are blacklisted by the points system will be “unable to move a step” while those considered trustworthy will have no problem. “This is an important novel approach by Beijing to assess individuals’ credit and tie it to their whole life,” a spokesperson for the Beijing government said, according to the Xinhua news agency.
The city authorities did not reveal details of how the point system would work. It will, however, set an example for the rest of China on how to improve the behaviour of individuals and businesses, reports said.
A second scheme will also monitor the trustworthiness of Beijing’s officials and government departments by monitoring whether deals and pledges are delivered. This system will then be included in performance assessments.
The Chinese government has previously stated its “once untrustworthy, always restricted” social credit system will mean greater transparency. It will help expose corruption so miscreants can be more effectively punished.
Individuals in the country can already be blacklisted from making certain purchases, such as tickets for flights or high-speed rail services, for up to a year if they fail to pay court-mandated fines. This system was put in place by the government in March.
Earlier this month China’s government ordered technology businesses in the country to collect more data on their users, including their real names and the type of hardware they use to access sites. China’s Cyberspace Administration published its new requirements this month, informing businesses that they will come into place on November 30.
The new restrictions require social media businesses, online forums, video services and search engines to routinely collect detailed user information and to establish systems for reporting this information to the police when requested.
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