Friday, December 10, 2021

The United Kingdom and its Looming Social Credit Score Program

A recent announcement/pronouncement from the government in the United Kingdom may help us to better understand what lies ahead once the "vaccine passports" are in place and can be used for other purposes.


Here's the announcement of the pilot project:



A contract has been awarded to HeadUP Systems to develop a new app with taxpayers forking over £3 million pounds for "rewards".  The project will fall under the direction of the Office of Improvement and Disparities and their "drive to use digital technology to improve physical health and prevent health conditions before they develop."  The pilot project will begin in January 2022, running for six months in a defined location yet to be announced and participants will wear devices on their wrists which can generate personalized health recommendations including increasing thee number of steps that they take, eating more healthy food including fruits and vegetables and decreasing the size of meal portions.  Users will collect points when they make healthy choices and these points can be used to unlock rewards which include passes to gyms, clothes and food vouchers as well as discounts for shops, theatres and theme park tickets.


Here is a quote from the news release:


"Evidence suggests that financial incentives can improve rates of physical activity and inspire healthier eating so HeadUp will work with a range of organisations to provide rewards such as vouchers, merchandise, discounts and gift cards.


The government is committed to helping people lead healthier, happier lives by making it easier for people to make healthy choices.


Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:


I want to ensure we’re doing as much as we can to tackle health disparities across the country, and this new pilot will pave the way for developing innovative ways to improve the lives of individuals, and also help to reduce strain on the NHS.


The Office of Health Improvement and Disparities is driving forward our levelling up agenda for health and ensuring prevention is a vital part of everything we do.


This pilot is an excellent opportunity to find how best to inspire people to make small changes to their daily lives that will have a lasting positive impact on their health....


Public Health Minister Maggie Throup said:


We are committed to improving the health of people across the country.


The HeadUp app pilot will help us better understand how appropriate rewards can motivate people to make positive changes to their diet and physical activity, supporting them to lead healthier lives."


The news release also notes that obesity-related illnesses cost the National Health Service £6 billion annually with almost three-quarters of adults in England living with either excess weight or obesity as shown here:



Here is some background information on HeadUP Systems:


HeadUp states that they are "thought leaders" who are "re-engineering healthcare and that they have 20+ years of experience in health tech and "insurtech".  Here is a screen capture of their process and effectiveness:


Here is an interesting quote and screen capture regarding the company's use of data:


"The rise of wearables and connected devices has given rise to billions upon billions of data points – we are committed to leading the way in evidence-based and validated means of helping make sense of all this data and using it to truly help people live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


In 2021, we will be engaging in clinical trials which will compare a randomly chosen group of participants who will be distributed into a test and a control group. They will be assessed over a period of time to determine how their health behaviours and outcomes improve after using the HeadUp app.


The results will be published in a peer reviewed journal.


Obviously, should an app of this sort be rolled out nation-wide, one can only imagine the amount of data that HeadUp and any affiliated government will be able to collect about our location/movement, activity levels, key health parameters and shopping habits/diet.  But, not to worry, here's what the announcement from the United Kingdom says about those concerns:


"The new app will place user privacy and security at its core and will ensure all personal information is safe and secure at all times."


We all know just how well governments mishandle and misuse personal information, don't we?


Given how governments have massively expanded their powers of behavioural monitoring/manipulation and social shaming during the COVID-19 pandemic, this looks like yet another step toward an all-encompassing surveillance state being promoted as something that is "for our own good".  Please don't misunderstand my concerns about this project; I believe and have practiced a healthy lifestyle for my entire life.  Unfortunately, this project has a ring of a Chinese-style social credit system to it; for now, you just won't collect your "rewards" if you are "badly behaved" however, it is a short step to a society where your access to the health care system is contingent and rationed on the basis of accepting behaviours dictated by a wearable digital device which is directly connected to government's snooping technology.  Bad health decisions are personal and unless we resist this form of invasive government behaviour, we may well find ourselves living in a society that is more akin to living in China where socially unacceptable behaviours are punished without recourse.

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