Information Systems Integration – Tony Messina

What if your credit score impacted your social life?

That’s the question the Chinese government is wrestling with its new “Social Credit System”. In June of 2014, the State Council of China released a new document titled “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System”. In this document was a proposed system that would monitor and track its citizens to prove their “trustworthiness”. The SCS uses an algorithm created by Alibaba to give users a rating between 350-950 points. However, the Chinese algorithm behind this system takes into account much more than the user’s financial history. The system will track five different factors: credit history, fulfillment capacity, personal characteristics, behavior and preference, and interpersonal relationships. Credit history is very similar to the credit score we have here in America. Fulfillment capacity looks at a user’s ability to fulfill contractual obligations. Personal characteristics is essentially personal information, including phone number and address. Behavior and preference looks at your consumer purchases and attempts to correlate that with your daily activities. For example, if you buy a lot of diapers you would be classified as a parent. Interpersonal relationships is the last metric that is tracked and this looks at the scores of your friends and relatives. If a friend you are connected with does something that negatively affects their score, your score may also be impacted.


What steers citizens are the perks associated with high scores. Just like credit scores in America, the rating you receive from the SCS gives you access to get loans and mortgages. With a low enough score, you may be restricted to certain types of restaurants or modes of transportation. Currently participation is voluntary (although there are incentives for joining early), however by 2020 the government states that participation will be mandatory.

2 Responses to What if your credit score impacted your social life?

  • Hello Noah,

    I find this topic very intriguing because it reminds me of the TV show Black Mirror, where in an episode people can rate each other from one to five stars for every interaction they have, and which can impact their socioeconomic status. I see this as something that relates to that because this type of rating is going to affect your home, transportation, type of locations you’re allowed to be in, and social circle. It’s scary to envision a world in which you’re constantly monitored, judged for your actions, and literally evaluated based on the choices you make or any action you take.

  • Oh boy! This is extremely interesting and very reminiscent to black mirror like stated above. I think that this could easily be something that comes into fruition, if it hasn’t begun already. Like we were talking about in class, everyone has credit scores, uber and lyft scores, and I’m sure there are plenty of other online scores of people. It would be interesting once that data is aggregated and how that would affect people.
    Would people become nicer? Or, would everyone be superficially nice? If so, the philosophical question would arise where, if everyone is superficially nice then wouldn’t it be a nicer society overall?

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