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Italian Social Credit System? New App to Reward Italian Citizens for ‘Virtuous Behavior’

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A new app recently released in Italy is eerily similar to China’s social credit system by rewarding some citizens for their behavior through a point system.  

“Smart Citizen Wallet” was presented at a March 29 press conference on digital innovation in Bologna, where mayor Matteo Lepore, and Massimo Bugani, director of the city’s “Digital Agenda,” discussed the project.

Citizens using the app will be rewarded for things such as recycling, using public transports, managing energy well, and not getting fined.

Corriere Di Bologna wrote (translated):

The card with digital points for the “virtuous citizen”

Among the most innovative interventions is the smart citizen wallet . «The wallet of the virtuous citizen», explains Bugani, who had worked on the project with the Raggi administration (in Rome today the platform is active in the experimental phase). The idea is similar to the mechanism of “a supermarket points collection”, as the councilor himself points out. “The citizen will have an acknowledgment if he differentiates the waste, if he uses public transport, if he manages energy well, if he does not take sanctions from the municipal authority, if he is active with the Culture Card” . Virtuous behaviors that will correspond to a score that the Bolognese will then be able to “spend” in prizes being defined: “Tper discounts, Hera, cultural activities and so on”.

The trial of the app after the summer

The citizen wallet project will start on an experimental basis after the summer, but the issue of privacy and resistance that it could encounter among citizens remains. “Obviously no one will be forced to participate, whoever wants to give consent by downloading and using a special application , I believe there will be many to join”, bets the councilor pentastellato, who aims to widen the advantages for virtuous citizens as much as possible: “We want them to understand that they are not” losers “but that their behavior is rewarded” . Among the novelties of the digital innovation plan there is also a training course on cyber security that aims to make the administrations of the metropolitan city hacker-proof, finally the benefits for mobility: “It will all be based on new technologies and data. With the construction sites that will arrive, we will have to get people used to moving in a different way and the information available in real time – concludes Lepore – will allow us to do so avoiding bottlenecks or accidents ».

While the social credit system is voluntary, for now, the invasive technology opens the flood gates to digitize society on an unprecedented scale.

Many services reportedly will go digital in Italy, and the citizen wallet project presents a channel to sucker citizens into a digitalized world that destroys privacy.

LifeSiteNews reported:

Some journalists, writers, and bloggers in Italy, France, and Germany have pointed out that the concept behind the app bears striking similarities with China’s social credit system. This, too, rewards citizens according to a system of points. 

This was not lost on many users of social media, either. Twitter user Nat described the project as “terrifying.” 

Others have pointed to similarities with other digital projects such as the Digital ID Wallet by Thales, and have warned that such projects could allow government to usher in a social credit system like China’s in the West.

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