At the same time as we voluntarily share detailed information on Facebook about our age, employment, relationship status and interests, apps in our mobile phones track every step we take. If we have a smart home the lightbulb will know our energy use, the mattress our sleeping habits and the coffee machine our coffee intake.
Every day, tons of personal data is collected from us which we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about. While the EU updates its data protection rules to prevent personal data from being misused and private information from leaking, systems are developed which will lead to the opposite.
In this project I want to highlight the gathering of personal data by examining the social credit system currently being developed in China and expected to come into force by 2020. The system will provide a summary assessment of each Chinese citizen, not just from their economic and legal but also personal and professional background and status. Depending on which rank an individual receives, he or she will be given or deprived various benefits in society.
What happens when a society becomes gamified, will there be room for empathy or will everybody stand for themselves? And what happens when our daily tools like our mobile phones, debit cards and other digital devices we have created a dependence on become our closest enemy and the biggest disseminator of personal data? Will the aim to create a pixel perfect society fail us in the end?