- China is reportedly trying to implement a social credit system in the metaverse.
- The metaverse is still under a budding phase.
China is bringing forward a proposal to implement its controversial social credit system in the metaverse. According to POLITICO, a politics-focused news provider, the nation intends to use a “Digital Identity System” for users in digital worlds. Additionally, the proposal also suggests collecting certain data, and storing and sharing it with law enforcement.
China Trying to Get Ahead in The Metaverse Regulation Game
Moreover, it mentions an example of potential bad actors spreading misinformation and disorder in the metaverse. The proposals are put forward by a Chinese state-owned telecommunications company, China Mobile. The proposals are a part of ongoing discussions in the International Telecommunication Unit (ITU), a specialized agency in the United Nations (UN).
Social credit systems in China are a part of controversial debates. What’s more, some believe the nation maintains a blacklist restricting citizens’ movements and spending habits. A list presented in 2013 includes over 30K blacklisted users. In August 2017, a Sichuan Province court left recorded texts urging the caller to ask the receiver at the end to pay their debts.
According to the experts who reviewed China Mobile’s proposals, they believe it could violate principles of freedom and privacy over the internet. According to an anonymous ITU contributor who talked to POLITICO, China is filing more proposals in contrast to the United States and Europe.
They said, “Imagine a metaverse where your identity protocols are set and monitored by Chinese authorities. Every government must ask themselves – Is that the kind of immersive world we want to live in?” China is currently the most surveilled nation globally and reportedly feeds this data to its social security systems.
According to a government document, the social security system is intends to raise honest mentality and credit levels of a society as a whole. As a result, a person’s credit score fluctuates based on their behavior. Rash driving, smoking in no-smoking areas and spreading misinformation, to name a few, are infractions leading to bad credit scores.
A Decentralized Virtual Space is a Heaty Topic
Experts define metaverse as a decentralized space where users are the true owners. However, will it actually be a decentralized space, is a matter of heaty debate among the experts. Additionally, some believe it will be a layer similar to the internet upon which they can build applications.
Countries including India, Saudi Arabia, Korea and more are already riding this virtual train. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s Spring Budget 2023 mentioned the authorities will lead the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse. In regards to commerce, virtual spaces are already a burgeoning ground for companies.
To this date, organizations like Adidas, Samsung, Gucci and more have forayed into the metaverse to explore its potential.