If you thought that China has any plans to give up on its social credit system, you’re completely wrong. Not only did the program already went live in cities like Hangzhou but Beijing has stated that it has every plan to fully implement it on its 22 million citizens by 2020.
Now, in a report from Associated Press, we find out that millions of travelers have already been banned from reaching their destinations in 2018, as a result of the social credit score system.
To be more exact, according to the National Public Credit Information Center, people have been denied 5.5 million times from buying train tickets and 128 people were blocked from leaving the country altogether, due to unpaid taxes.
Even so, it’s unknown exactly what the system penalizes – in 2018, penalties were given out for anything ranging from jaywalking or taking up extra seats on the train to false advertising and drug use.
China is employing a number of methods to keep its residents in check, like monitoring students in schools with facial recognition cameras, installing palm scanners on subways and, of course, the ever-present CCTV. More recently, when a person passes through a checkpoint when going into another city or leaving/entering China, not only do they identify themselves but they have to release their fingerprints.
The Chinese government plans to collect all this information and more, store it into a database and eventually, by 2020, have a complete file on every single one of its citizens, which will also include information on their behavior.