“It’s been in the pipeline for years: a sprawling, technological mass surveillance network the likes of which the world has never seen,” Peter Dockrill writes for ScienceAlert. “And it’s already been switched on.”

“China’s ‘Social Credit System’ – which is expected to be fully operational by 2020 – doesn’t just monitor the nation’s almost 1.4 billion citizens,” Dockrill writes. “It’s also designed to control and coerce them, in a gigantic social engineering experiment that some have called the ‘gamification of trust.’ That’s because the massive project, which has been slowly coming together for over a decade, is about assigning an individual trust score to each and every citizen, and to businesses too. According to China’s Communist Party, the system will ‘allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.'”

“To pull this off, the unprecedented scheme will harness the immense reach of China’s technological infrastructure: some 200 million CCTV cameras, according to a report by Australia’s Foreign Correspondent,” Dockrill writes. “The idea is these ever-watchful eyes will be hooked up to facial recognition systems, and cross-checked with financial, medical records, and legal records – with the whole apparatus regulated and interpreted by advanced, big-data-crunching AI networks.”

“For positive personal and social acts – such as paying bills on time, engaging in charity, and properly sorting your recycling – citizens get their score bumped up, which gives them access to perks, like better credit facilities, cheaper public transport, and even shorter wait times for hospital services,” Dockrill writes. “But if you break the rules, beware. People who are late with payments, or caught jaywalking or smoking in non-smoking areas, will be punished.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And lo, a Brave New World was born.