China’s use of big data might actually make it less Big Brother-ish

By 2020, China’s new system of social credit scoring is expected to give each citizen a trustworthiness rating based on anything from shopping habits to choice of friends. It may seem like an ideal tool for an authoritarian government that wants to control its citizens.

But while authoritarian regimes have always been enthusiastic adopters of surveillance technology, in China’s case big data may (inadvertently) make the country a little less repressive. Privacy is now a thing in China A few years ago, in an article for the Boston Globe called “How Privacy Became an American Value,” historian and author Ted Widmer detailed how Americans inherited and amplified the British sense of privacy—the idea of “keeping oneself to oneself.”

Author: Yasheng Huang

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