Of course, it's a Government control thing, too. But China already had that - it's called a dangan. In China, many people really did have a Permanent Record. That's not as important as it used to be, because it was employer-maintained, mostly by state employers. With more private employers, it's less of an issue. This new system may become a modernized version of the dangan.
China has a centuries-long history of keeping records on everyone. The old systems worked when there was very limited population mobility and job mobility. Now, with a more flexible workforce, the old system is getting an upgrade.
These slavery books are still pretty common in parts of Europe too.
Basically, it is a resume in regulated form. Nothing more or less. Certainly not slavery book.
Regardless, US culture says that this sort of thing gives the employer far too much power over the employee, and that there are plenty of unscrupulous employers who use that leverage against the employees to make them do what they want, far beyond what the US considers appropriate.
EEU culture typically says the world is far worse without these books and that there couldn't possibly be any downsides that outweigh the costs, or that there are bandaids which could theoretically fix any problems with it.
Neither side will likely ever convince the other side on this topic, so no point in arguing about it :)
The British government knew where I worked, through the tax system. They knew, more-or-less, where I lived, by my registration to vote (compulsory, though not well enforced as far as I know). Is that what you don't like?
For all practical purposes, I don't think this would be so different from what we already have in the West for people like CEOs, government officials, reporters etc. These people seem to be kicked out as soon as they do something politically incorrect. They don't seem to have much freedom. For example, the CEO of Mozilla who gave like 1000 dollars to some anti-gay cause like 10 years ago, or the CEO of BP who hired gay escorts or John Derbyshire who wrote something unflattering about blacks.
Ok, it's not the government doing it in the West, but the majority mob. But does it really matter whether it's some elitist government or the majority in a democracy doing it?
Do you think that it would somehow be better if the beliefs of people with power were not questioned?
In practice, the examples aren't very good: John Derbyshire was writing controversial material on race for years before National Review decided some of his articles in other publications were damaging their own reputation, at which point he promptly got a job at another publication that saw his extreme racism as an asset; Eich's resignation was extremely unusual and has the obvious counterexample of Kim Davis' job being well protected even when her political stance meant refusing to fulfil some of its requirements, and I'm not convinced that senior executives sometimes quitting over embarrassing revelations about their private life is really a sign that their employability is conditional on them holding certain sets of political views.
But that tree was tolerant at the end. That is exactly what tolerance means. Thats a very important distinction to me, because while it's all the law or government can ask of people, it misses the point that we are supposed to love our neighbors. The tree didn't open it's heart to people of different races, it didn't realize that the world is better when we love each other. All it did was tolerate.
In reality, you have to remember the principle of 'checks and balances' in a democracy. The government, the media, the mob, the judiciary.... all have voices and occasionally one prevails over the other, or two-or-more support each other. They can also resist each other - the judiciary can send a popular entertainer to prison, the mob can resist overbearing government action. It's scary in a democracy when the government gains too much leverage over the media, or the judiciary because..... then it starts to look like China :)
Given your average vigilante group being a microscopic fraction of the public, alignment will be rare and random.
Having worked in mortgage lending for many years, I'd like to point out that this isn't true. Your score (generated by the big 3 bureaus) does not take income or assets into account, it's based on credit utilization, payment history, and similar factors reported by your existing creditors and public records (BKs, judgments). That's why more factors go into extending you credit (credit card, mortgage, auto loan), than your score alone.
Expanding on this: every credit card I've ever applied for has asked for my income on the signup form. They can easily get my credit score from any of the reporters, but they can only get my income by asking me for it.
One of my biggest mistake was using a credit card. I wish I threw out that first one I received upon graduation.
For example I have a cash back credit card that I run every purchase that doesn't entail a fee for credit card usage through and pay it off immediately. I accrue/pay no interest, and still don't spend beyond my means, but I get a discount everywhere.
Also Sesame Credit is a private company, it is absolutely not equal to China.
If the gov. took a log of someone's search engine queries, social networking posts, travels (GPS phone location logs), purchases and her list of friends it would be pretty easy to rate this person according to various criteria. They would need to have a dataset of people and their real world actions in order to train a classifier to predict scores for people based on just their digital traces.
I don't know if it would work though, until tested. Maybe there is no correlation between what people post and what they do.
The counterpoint is that people could use this same system to rate their actions before they act. Imagine a plugin that would warn you before you post some opinion on social networks or add someone to your friend list that it would decrease your rating by 10 points(!) Then you could select which actions you want to do and avoid reducing your score. That would make the rating system meaningless.
The same system could be applied to rank people for their support for equality and freedom. It would make it hard for some to pose as freedom lovers when they act in a way that promotes discrimination.
But either way, we will all act like politicians during political campaigns. Everything people would say would be weighed for the purpose of getting what they desire.
And it doesn't stop here. The bubbling effect in Google, FB and other news feeds would be used to select which stories to show in order to manipulate everyone according to someone else's interests. This slowly morphs into a kind of soft dictatorship, where you are controlled without even realizing it. Even if it wouldn't work on each individual, it would work on average.
That's why Facebook has become so important to elections lately. There is no political candidate that can ignore the FB tribe and its effects. It makes or breaks a campaign, and makes Zuck into a kind of huge power broker. But if a state wants to get its way no matter what (doing what China does now), FB would be a small child compared to the real world consequences they could unleash based on scoring.
No, it would make the system highly effective; control of discourse through the exercise of "soft power". No need to proactively censor if you train people to do it themselves.
This is the end result of the chilling effect mass surveillance has on human communications. And it's frightening.
The only private place we could have is in our heads, or maybe if we wear one of those "laptop socks" and play with a device disconnected from the web (LOL). Now, seriously, we could still discuss politics anonymously, but we need a guardian to keep us from revealing too much so as our identity never to be known. An anonymous forum with AI working hard to protect people from detection.
First, among a cynical and rebellious youth population, a low score would become a prestigious thing, proof of your courage and gutsy attitude, a kind of street cred.
Second, it would limit economic activity. If you cut off millions of people from car loans on the basis of their questionable postings or online affiliations, the ones really hurt will be the banks and car companies. Idiotic, and would lead to many companies disregarding the "credit" scores.
I don't see this as workable, though it does sound like something the government would like to have.
Most Chinese youth arent rebellious in any substantial way. They've grown up in an environment that is strongly Confucian, and there isn't really this "be what you want to be, break free, live life, freedom of youth" narrative that we have in most of the developed world. Kids are very very unrebellious and I doubt there would grow a culture of 'showing off' your bad credit score.
On the 2nd point, I'm not sure either. The political element of this is likely to be a small factor, not a prime one. The government tends to be very specific these days about targeting people who are activists rather than cracking down on anyone who says anything. Finally, people in China are generally used to this kind of BS, and whether consciously or through 'brainwashing', they don't tend to randomly spout political positions or anti-government rhetoric unless they know they are on safe ground. I don't mean it won't be an oppressive, inefficient, opaque and abused system, just that it won't result in millions being locked out of loans or the economy suffering that much.
No one likes the Confucian stuff in School, and it's just some gibberish text in the textbook, and you were required to recite it word by word after you 'read it aloud with strong emotion'. Yes, that's how most texts were studied by Chinese pupil and (junior-)high school students.
As showing off bad credit score? Once we were proud not to be a part in the Youth League. Eventually they made everyone of us in, in the ninth grade.
Source: grew up in China.
One social factor that might be important is that people who complain/moan/get hung up on politics and principles aren't very likely to succeed in a country where you have to be very bloodyminded and flexible to deal with the amoral business environment in China. I would guess that if a person is constantly sending anti-government or whiney political messages, it's kind of like a 'loser' stamp here, and that might affect your credit score.
> But China has already announced that it, or something very like it, will become mandatory from 2020.
> But the kicker is that if any of your friends do this — publish opinions without prior permission, or report accurate but embarrassing news — your score will also deteriorate.
Why should I believe those things instead of all those propaganda nonsense? A big "" label is missing beside every sentence in this article...
It's a visa to Luxembourg according to the link, so Luxembourg needs to be the main place to stay. Also not really strange that they will take a credit score. Usually (when applying to a German visa as someone from mainland China) you need to show that you have a steady income and need to provide bank account statements that show that you have enough money to sustain yourself.
It also criticizes that other people have an influence over the credit score. This is done because there's not enough data and regularly happens in other countries (e.g. taking into account where you live).
That it will be used for political control is certainly a valid fear, but it doesn't seem to be reality yet like claimed in the article.
And from what I can read about the credit score, I don't think we're missing much.
My history of being responsible with debt enables me to borrow large amounts of money while putting a small percentage down, and paying a small percentage interest (3.375%) on the principal. Banks can compete to offer better rates or terms on a loan like that (home mortgage, USA).
Some notion of a credit score, or a person's general creditworthiness is necessary for there to be competition in the loan market. Otherwise how would it work - banks are equally willing to loan to all people, despite their income, savings, and history of paying back loans reliably?
It can be abused but it generally seems to promote an efficient marketplace for loans.
In mortgage lending they call this concept the "5 C's" of credit: character, capital, capacity, conditions and collateral. Character speaks to credit history. The credit scores are driven by "tradeline" payment history but lenders can independently verify that information- you disclose all your liabilities at application anyway, they can independently verify them, their history, and base an underwriting decison and price accordingly.
Credit scores are not necessary for competition in the loan market - lending has existed as long as commerce has. They do facilite faster lending descisons and reduce the processing and underwriting workload for lenders.
Historically (at least in America) banks absolutely have not been willing to lend to all comers who could repay and credit scores have probably served to equalize access to credit for more people in a way that wouldn't have happened without them, but they aren't strictly necessary to make or get a loan or even have a market for them. It's just more work for the lenders.
Basically, everything besides a history of paying back loans :-).
Those lacking (some of) these things get smaller loans/bigger interest rates or don't get a loan at all...
>However, if you apply for a credit or mortgage in France, all you will have to provide is your last 3-month bank statements and the last 3 month pay slips (or last 3 year tax returns). It is that simple. There is no credit report or score for you to worry about.
Sesame score is less than harmless, and to most extent, less than useless. China already has a political rating system it's called 档案(Personal Record File). Actually it has acted a crucial part in Chinese society, individual themselves aren't allowed to access their own file, and records inputs we given by their supervisors. You will have your record with you since elementary school, or even earlier. It was serious in 80s and early 90s where state owns everything, you can imagine how hard for an individual to live back in the old days. Since private firms became the mainstream and acts an important role in the Chinese economic structure, these files are no longer required for private owners. As of today, it's only important if you work for state owned units, but it still works, and alive.
If the totalitarian government wants to make a political evaluation system, they can just make use of 档案, plus minus Internet surveillance data they gathered all the time. There's no need of data from any parts that Alibaba(NASDAQ:BABA) owns, Weibo(NASDAQ:WB) is the most influential social network in China, but a local government/state-owned companies easily take down any information they think inappropriate. They do have have read/write privileges to these information, not to mention other minor ones. As for data mining, not a problem, given the resource they have.
Also they don't need something like a smokescreen, or justification for that, since there's already a similar system working, it's easier to maintain that start a new one.
Sesame is merely a joke in the game of privacy-invasion, or credit scoring. Consumers don't care about their sesame score, since they can't make use of it. The imaginary party they 'are trying to serve' in the article, doesn't need them. Though the Aligroup tried to do some evil, but was too dubious and obvious. Last time they tried really hard to do some evil deeds and do crossed some lines by calling your friends telling them your purchases when you have overdue bills for sometime. Things like such makes people question their capabilities of being evil, also ability to score people's credit correctly.
 http://www.zhihu.com/question/35586955 (Chinese)
 This may not be so far-fetched. Several years ago a Party document was released documenting 100k or 200k protests, ranging from small to large. When the bullet train derailed 3 or 5 years ago, Weibo went wild within minutes and ultimately some provincial Party officials took the fall. And the example of Arab Spring has got to be pretty scary.
 I don't know if it is true anymore, but historically people were encouraged to rat out neighbors with ideological deficiencies. Not just in China, this is pretty much standard fare in totalitarian states.
And one from last year:
The article is a bit more informative than I was expecting but I have one quibble. The sentence "In the West, our credit score is simple. It’s our ability to pay." is incorrect. Our credit score is actually our propensity to pay (and ability to pay is just one facet of that propensity). I know plenty of wealthy people with poor credit scores - some because they're poor at managing their money but there are a surprising number who simply want to hold onto their wealth (and don't care how their credit score is affected).
It is, how the score company things, how likely you will pay.
I know, that for example, there street you live in is one factor used in your credit score. When you seldom have credits or the score company has to limited data about you, such information can be decisive.
There are known cases in Germany, where well off people, who also regularly pay their bills got a bad score, just because the score company used some very limited data and statistical guesswork to simply guess a score.
PIAs marketing straight up exploits people who aren't tech savvy enough to understand that the promises they make are meaningless.
Any source besides this? http://www.volkskrant.nl/buitenland/china-rates-its-own-citi...
Imagine in 2009 you forwarded a story to a friend in a private conversation thread on a private computer using commercial software about a corrupt village official that everyone was talking about. Jump to 2016 and now that guy is the provincial governor and nobody in your extended family can get even a $100 loan for anything.
Thats very, very different from sucking up to your boss by working extra hours for free.
I'm not sure how reliable that tool is, testing with ThePirateBay.gd gives "dnserror" for all the ISPs except one, but only adds a blocked since time for one (BT).
The VPN works too (obviously). I do sometimes find that switching to TCP (which should make it slower due to overhead) makes it faster, but it's ISP dependent, which implies the OpenVPN UDP traffic is being throttled.
With the wrong (maybe leftist or file-sharing) friends, your credit score could drop in the near future.