31% of Portuguese admit that the Government monitors social networks to increase security

31% of Portuguese admit that the Government monitors social networks to increase security

The conclusions are part of Kaspersky's Social Credits and Security: embracing the world of ratings study, which assessed people's perceptions of hierarchical systems, known as social credit. According to the data, 51% of users on a global level are willing to share their personal data and agree that the Government supervises their activity on social networks for security reasons, a number that in Portugal is lower.

Social scoring systems, or social ratings, are being used more and more, using automated algorithms based on the behavior of users and their influence on the Internet to assess who has access to certain services. The technology started to be applied in e-commerce and financial institutions, but aKaspersky recalls that with the outbreak of COVID-19, we also saw the implementation of automated systems to control people's movement, their ability to buy goods and access social services.

In Chinaest, a social credit system is already under development, built from the personal data that citizens make available to mobile applications and that can determine access to employment or to the best seats on a train. What still looks like a scenario from an episode of the series Black Mirros, which in the third season tells the story of Lacie, a girl whose life goal reaches a score of 4.5, the magic number that will allow her to access a set of perks to buy It is a luxury apartment, each time closer to reality, so the security company made a survey to see if users recognize these measures and if they are prepared for these situations.

In the responses in Portugal, only 19% of the Portuguese who participated in this research had heard of social qualification systems, a percentage well below the world average of 46%. On the other hand, althoughratingsare already being used and are becoming more and more known, there is still no consensus about their functioning and effectiveness.

More than a third of Portuguese consumers (36%) acknowledged having problems understanding how a social scoring system works.

Users are unaware, for example, how a score is calculated and how it can be consulted, as well as how to be corrected in case of inaccuracies. Furthermore, since these systems are based on machine learning(machine learning), it becomes more difficult to know what choices they make and whether they are reliable, especially in terms of security.

Even so, the Kaspersky study shows that more than half of Portuguese respondents would share sensitive private information to access job opportunities (52%), better rates and discounts (36%) or special services (35%). Portuguese users were also available to reveal data from their social media profiles for various aspects of daily life.

The Kaspersky survey also found that security issues are important to consumers. Three out of 10 Portuguese (31%) would agree that the Government would monitor their activity on social networks if that contributed to keeping citizens safer.