News - China wants to expand its social credit system to the metaverse

By Mike Hesp

China wants to expand its social credit system to the metaverse

Developments
Laws and regulations

According to recent reports, China has plans to expand its social credit system to the metaverse and other online virtual environments.

China Mobile, a state-owned company, has proposed to introduce a digital ID system for users of the metaverse and virtual worlds. This ID system would use "natural characteristics" and "social characteristics" to identify users and would contain personal information and identifiable data, such as occupation. This information would be permanently stored and shared with authorities to maintain order and security in the virtual world.

The purpose of this system is to influence behavior and maintain security, similar to China's existing social credit system. This system ranks citizens based on various criteria and has also served as a means of enforcement. For example, in previous years, the authorities social offenders punished by denying them access to airline and train tickets.

The proposals were submitted during discussions with a focus group on metaverse organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations communications technology agency. Chinese companies seem to be very active within this focus group and have submitted more proposals than their counterparts from the United States and Europe.

It is clear that China's plans to extend its social credit system to the metaverse and online virtual environments could have important implications for telecommunications and tech companies. These plans may also affect the development of new standards for metaverse services. However, some experts warn of potential privacy and control concerns, as this could lead to a situation where Chinese authorities control and manage the identity protocols of the metaverse, raising questions about the freedom and nature of this virtual world.

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