Trust Scores, Social Points, Privacy

In the news lately have been several stories about Socialist countries instituting a Social Score based on who you contact and what you do on the internet or in other transactions. China is doing it. Venezuela is adopting it.

I first ran into this in an excellent Black Mirror show.

Black Mirror’s third season opens with a vicious take on social media

By Tasha Robinson on October 24, 2016 10:18 am
“Nosedive,” the first installment of Netflix’s new six-episode season, replaces “phones” in that sentence with “social media.” The script, written by Parks And Recreation’s Michael Schur and Rashida Jones, turns social platforms’ self-curation and validation-seeking into the backbone of a future society. But the issues at play go beyond the ways users project their best, most enviable selves onto their Instagrams and Facebook feeds. Almost exactly a year ago, Verge reports editor Josh Dzieza published a piece called “The ratings game: How Uber and its peers turned us into horrible bosses.” The gist was that the combination of an on-demand economy and a new class of ratings-dependant employees was turning customers into entitled, hypersensitive critics. That article could have been the road map for “Nosedive.” Just as Uber drives started offering riders free water, candy, and other perks to ingratiate themselves with increasingly demanding customers, the characters in “Nosedive” nervously tailor their lives to be ingratiating online, within certain very narrow guidelines.

It goes on from there where a high Social Score lady decides to get and even higher score, but…, through a series of unfortunate events, the “star” plunges into a de-ranked loser… Well worth watching if you can.

Some folks seem to take such warnings as a goal to be fulfilled. China for example:

A ‘Black Mirror’ Episode Is Coming to Life in China

People will be prevented from traveling on trains and planes based on their social credit scores.

In another indication that Back Mirror isn’t just a sci-fi anthology series and instead a glimpse into our actual future, China is extending its “social credit” system to block accused wrongdoers from traveling on trains and planes.

The social credit program has been around since 2014, and has been steadily expanding. According to Wired:

OK, that’s China. Not like it would be here

Apple will log about how many ‘phone calls or emails you send and receive’ to give your device a ‘trust score’

Isobel Asher Hamilton
Sep. 19, 2018, 7:03 AM

Apple is going to start using phone call and email metadata in an attempt to combat fraud.
The data will give devices a “trust score,” and it could help Apple detect fraudulent transactions, reviews, and accounts.
The plans were spotted when iTunes quietly updated its privacy policy.

Apple will start assigning so-called “trust scores” for Apple devices in a bid to combat fraud.

First spotted by VentureBeat, a new provision has quietly appeared updated in the iTunes Store privacy page:

“To help identify and prevent fraud, information about how you use your device, including the approximate number of phone calls or emails you send and receive, will be used to compute a device trust score when you attempt a purchase. The submissions are designed so Apple cannot learn the real values on your device. The scores are stored for a fixed time on our servers.”

Essentially, Apple will assign devices “trust scores” based on information including phone call and email metadata. This trust score helps the company identify scammers who are using Apple’s services and devices as part of their schemes.

The so-called “trust score” only takes into account usage patterns, or metadata, and it’s sent to Apple when a purchase is made on the app store.

So guess I’m not going for that iPhone…

I don’t need to be tracked, ranked, rated, or scored just to make phone calls, send email, and browse the web.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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4 Responses to Trust Scores, Social Points, Privacy

  1. Ian W says:

    Hardly surprising – Apple is a Chinese company.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W:

    Last I looked they were just down the street in Cupertino and publicly traded on the US Stock Exchanges. Is there some evidence they are “Chinese” that I’ve missed?

    Their products are assembled under contract (Foxconn? Something like that) in China, but that doesn’t make them a Chinese company.

  3. Steve C says:

    I’d heard about China, but that Venezuela is going down the same pan is news to me. And India is “rolling out” (always seems such a suitable phrase, with images of road rollers flattening all before them) its biometric “ID” scheme with little apparent opposition, so I’d guess will not be long in racking up the control. This is not a good time for anyone who believes in anything above absolute totalitarianism.

  4. philjourdan says:

    This seems like a good place to park this comment.

    I have been reading with some satisfaction of knowing, that the current kerfuffle between the left icons (and members of FAANG) is their belief they have won. The war is over, conservatives are marginalized and it is time to get their view established as the one true view.

    Their myopia is due to the echo chamber they are imposing on themselves, and their products (people). But it is somewhat amusing. They are wrong. I think Gab is evidence that they cannot control the Internet, no matter how hard they try. And they miss the fact that Trump still won, and still controls one house of Congress. But they think that with the House, they will marginalize him.

    Far from it. What they will do is shut down government (just as the 94 victory shut it down – which lead to the first near balanced budget). Trump does not have to do any more. It would be nice if he had gotten the wall, and still may (but I doubt it). But he has the senate. So he will get his appointments (and hopefully Buzzys). And all those law suits will continue to crash on the steps of SCOTUS.

    So let FAANG and Soros kill themselves (I suspect Soros just shorted the wrong folks). When your enemy is destroying itself, get out of its way. And Trump will.

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