Technology

A Truly Frightening Piece Of 'Black Mirror' Tech Has Been Introduced In China

The social rating system is even more unnerving than we imagined.

BY editors | Mar 15, 2018 | News

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In last season's 'Nosedive' episode of Black Mirror, a frightening world in which people were digitally rated on their every societal interaction painted a grim picture of the future.

But though it might have looked like a far-off dystopian world, an emerging piece of technology in China doesn't look too dissimilar.

A feature in Wired sheds light on a new system of 'personal credit' in China, which is linked to mobile payment platform Alipay and gives users a score between 350 and 950 based on their personal habits.

Some of these seem innocent enough, like paying back debts giving you a good rating for example, but others, like the people you hang around with or things you buy determining your score, seem a little more concerning.

And it isn't as simple as opting out of a faddy piece of tech, as the Zhima Credit system is connected to the Chinese government's List of Dishonest People.

In the Wired piece, journalist Liu Hu explains that despite not signing up for the credit system his score meant that he was "banned from most forms of travel; he could only book the lowest classes of seat on the slowest trains. He could not buy certain consumer goods or stay at luxury hotels, and he was ineligible for large bank loans. Worse still, the blacklist was public."

"You could imagine a future where people are watching to see if their friends’ credit is dropping and then dropping their friends if that affects them,” data expert Frank Pasquale told Wired. “That’s terrifying.”

If you're worried about it catching on here, a recent survey of Brits found it to be the piece of technology from the dystopian series that people would least like to use.

Only 7% of those polls would be willing to use it compared to the memory implant from 'The Entire History Of You', which 29% would be willing to use.

From: Esquire UK


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