Digital personality and social credit: The new social contract or the end of constitutionalism?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to provide social distancing and track chains of infection, and, at the same time, spurred the implementation of cutting-edge digital technologies to the field of public administration. The use of Big Data and AI-based algorithms in governments’ regulatory and supervisory activities opens the door to the development of state-run information systems collecting and assessing various types of reputation data on subjects. The creation of digital profiles increases the effectiveness of state agencies’ administrative activities and allows governments to make social interactions more predictable. The introduction of digital personality institution, tightly connected to the social ranking and presuming the separation of “the sheep from the goats”, however, threatens citizens’ rights and the rule of law. This paper examines the recent experience of Russia and China in the transition to the governance through digital profiles and reputation scores.