Author |David BravoSome of the goals of smart cities include coordinated emergency management, traffic optimisation or creating infrastructures based on citizens’ needs. In short, for public entities to enhance social harmony through technology. An example of these policies is the social credit score system being implemented by the Chinese government.The project -inspired by points-based driving licences but, which reminds its critics of dystopias such as the episode of the Blackmirror series Nosedive, 1984 by George Orwell or The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick– has been designed to monitor the lives of citizens, who will gain or lose points based on their behaviour in different areas.A number of companies, including Sesame Credit, associated with the corporate giant Alibaba, are collecting citizens’ data, under the instructions of the authorities, with this objective in mind. This information includes facial features, voice samples, the time spent using the internet, the pages they look at, their online purchases, processes carried out with the Administration, their social media publications and other traceable data found in public files.Although the Chinese Government has done everything possible to present this programme as a way of bringing the State and its citizens closer together with the aim of, according to the Government, building a harmonious society through «a culture of honesty», the truth is, it has been highly criticised.Patrick Poon, researcher at Amnesty International for China, for example, told EFE news agency that the social credit system is just a “large-scale social control practice that legitimises the hierarchic classification of citizens”. He also predicted that “it will only increase social tension” because “it does not foster social equality”.
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