China is poised to launch a real-time, social credit system, which will rank all its citizens based on their behaviour.
The system, which is on-track to launch in 2020, has drawn obvious comparisons to the one used in Black Mirror episode 'Nosedive'.
Now before we go any further, I think I should say that I am a huge fan of Black Mirror, however, I always thought Charlie Brooker was using it as a sort of stark warning about a dystopian future we could see ourselves living in if we weren't careful, not a fucking instruction manual, which these guys seem to be using it for.
Whereas you'll see your score fall if you commit fraud, smoke in non-smoking areas or dodge tax, which is maybe enough; but adding an even creepier Orwellian twist on the whole thing, citizens can also drop points by buying items that the government doesn't approve of - such as booze or violent video games.
Those with high scores can expect such treats as VIP treatment at airports, waived deposits when hiring a car or booking hotels and even 'fast-tracks' to top university and better jobs.
Those with low scores are killed - nah, just kidding, they're not killed, but they can be banned from travelling or applying for government jobs as well as having a negative impact on credit scores. And if all that isn't bad enough, the real kicker is that those with lower scores could also see their high-speed access cut, arguably a fate worse than death.
The scheme has already been successfully implemented in a number of trials across China and will make use of smart phones, artificial intelligence, facial recognition and geo-tracking. This information will be combined with what the data the government already holds, such as finical, medical and educational history. Well, that's all bloody terrifying, isn't it?
ABC reports that the scheme, which is called 'social credit', should be up and running by 2020. According to China's Communist Party, it will 'allow the trustworthy to roam freely under heaven, while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step'. I'll say It again: that's all bloody terrifying isn't it?
CBS News spoke to Liu Hu, a journalist in China, who says he was barred from booking a flight because he was 'untrustworthy'. The government ordered Hu to apologise, however, even when he did so, he was told it was 'insincere'. Now, his score has dropped, and he's stuck on the shit-list.
He told the news outlet: "I can't buy property. My child can't go to a private school. You feel you're being controlled by the list all the time."
Featured Image Credit: PA