Honesty rating app may bring discounts – or troubles

The government of Shanghai has launched a smartphone app that produces a ‘public credit score’ for residents. With the app, the government hopes to make citizens more honest.

The Honest Shanghai app works with people’s national ID number. NPR Parallels reports that the app uses facial recognition software to locate personal data collected by the government. The app draws on up to 3,000 items of information collected from nearly 100 government entities to determine an individual's public credit score. “24 Hours later, you're given one of three public credit scores — very good, good, or bad”, says the report.

A good score may lead to rewards for users, like discounted airline tickets. A bad score could mean trouble. Citizens may have to face problems getting loans and getting seats on planes and trains.

The report states that Honest Shanghai is one of three-dozen social credit systems run by local governments throughout China. Shanghai citizens have aired their worries that the system may violate people’s privacy.

Further reading on NPR

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