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21 J. High Tech. L. 1 (2021)

handle is hein.journals/jhtl21 and id is 1 raw text is: 










    THE HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS OF CHINA'S SOCIAL CREDIT
                                SYSTEM







                            Lizzy Rettinger*




I.      Introduction


        When   the topic of a social credit system is brought up, people
generally  assume  the  subject relates to the episode  of Black Mirror
called Nosedive.1   In the show,  everyone  has  a personal score that is
constantly  changing  based  on ratings they  receive from  people  they
interact with throughout  the day.2 The main  character is obsessed with
these ratings, and for good  reason, as a person's score  has significant
socioeconomic benefits or consequences.3 While there are some

* Thank you to Professor Alex Joel for his support and guidance throughout the
writing process.
1 See Alice Vincent, Black Mirror is coming true in China, where your 'rating'
affects your home, transport and social circle, THE TELEGRAPH (Dec. 15, 2017),
archived at https://perma.cc/23Y2-QPCY (describing the Black Mirror episode
where the characters social standing was decided by technology and voted on by
people with whom she interacted); Sadaf Ahsan, Black Mirror's chilling social
credit score is a reality in China, NATIONAL POST (last updated Mar. 23, 2018),
archived at https://perma.cc/YG8J-Z2ZT (explaining the fictional social credit
score as depicted in the dystopian program); Gabrielle Bruney, A 'Black Mirror'
Episode Is Coming to Life in China, ESQUIRE (Mar. 17, 2018), archived at
https://perma.cc/YYU2-RUBZ  (drawing a parallel between the Nosedive episode
of Black Mirror and China's social credit system).
2 See Ahsan, supra note 1 (detailing the technology used in the Black Mirror
episode). Everyone owns and is subjected to an app that allows that to rate their
interactions with each other while also sharing personal updates. Id.
3 See Vincent, supra note 1 (summarizing the implications of the social credit score
in the episode). Having a good score (above four-point-five out of five) meant that


Copyright © 2021 Journal of High Technology Law and Lizzy Rettinger.
             All Rights Reserved. ISSN 1536-7983.

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