Italy is poised to be the first European nation to implement a social credit system that rewards citizens for their "good behavior."
The city of Bologna in Italy is set to implement a new pilot project in the fall of 2022, which enables citizens who display good behavior to earn rewards. Such good behavior that will earn them points would be correctly recycling or using public transportation.
According to the National Pulse, the municipality of Bologna is implementing the "Smart Citizen Wallet," which allows citizens to collect digital coins in exchange for behavioral changes. Depending on their given scores, citizens can receive discounts in their local shops. The program was proposed to "save resources" and promote climate-friendly practices.
Massimo Bugani, the councilor for the digital agenda in the northern city, said that the use of the "Smart Citizen Wallet" will not be forced on anyone, but that he expects a high user uptake, Bologna Today reported. Right now, the system will not be linked to online identification and social media usage.
Italy's move to use a social credit scoring system has raised concerns over similar methods to solve "social issues," especially when other nations and regions in the European Union are also doing the same. For example, Germany and Austria have already pushed their respective plans for a digital ID to be put into place. These two countries are also introducing new platforms to integrate more public services and identification systems, digitized mail, and national passports. The measures were introduced to address "bureaucratic problems and [to save] resources."
Last year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed interest in introducing the "EU ID," an ID system that would integrate national IDs with internet sign-ups. In a video posted to the European Commission's YouTube account, Von De Leyen explained, "Every time an App or website asks us to create a new digital identity, or to easily log via a big platform, we have no idea what happens with our data."
"That is why the Commission will propose a secure European e-identity," Von De Leyen argued. "One that we trust and that any citizen can use anywhere in Europe to do anything from paying taxes to renting bicycles."
However, there are concerns over the amount of data being gathered on every EU citizen, making data privacy issues appear inevitable. The European ID Wallet app began testing in 2021 and will be implemented in fall of this year.
In March, a social media post shared by a certain Michael Breton on Twitter gained traction when it alleged that "Ukraine just silently announced it's the first country to implement the WEF's 'Great Reset' by setting up a Social Credit Application combining Universal Basic Income (UBI), a Digital Identity & a Vaccine Passport all within their Diia app," USA Today reported.
However, the claims were baseless as Ukraine's Diia app is not linked to the World Economic Forum's "Great Reset," a conspiracy theory that alleges global elites are mobilizing to limit personal freedoms to create a central government. The Diia app of Ukraine was presented in Kyiv back in September 2019, four months before the "Great Reset" ideology was introduced. Independent fact-checking organizations have debunked the link between the Ukrainian Diia app, which allows users to upload their ID's such as drivers licenses and produce international vaccine passports, and the "Great Reset" as false.