The Social Credit System is a response by the Chinese government to a chronic difficulty in the application of laws and regulations, which has been framed in terms of a lack of “trust.” To influence individual behaviors, the system uses more or less classic coercive measures, consisting of rewards and sanctions (blacklists), as well as more modular but sometimes not very coercive incentives (personal ratings), and propaganda that appeals to morality. The state thus plays on different levels of norms: legal, social, and moral. This article posits that the private sector, through its access to highly detailed data and sophisticated calculation tools, affords opportunities to foster levels of self-discipline within society that state institutions find difficult to achieve. This may explain why the system also encourages the development of market instruments.
- Social Credit System
- personal data