Have you ever overheard your parents?




If you think you are being watched
you change your behavior.

Big data intensifies this effect.

This can limit your desire to take risks or speak freely.
In the long term, these cooling effects can "cool down" society.

And this is how it works:


Your data will be converted into thousands of different ratings.

Data brokers use algorithms to identify patterns in societies. This allows them on thousands Closing details that you never disclosed. Here are specific examples:

Rape victim
Interested in diets
Interested in gardening
Number of online friends
Number of real friends
Political opinions
Abortion performed
Official sexual orientation
Real sexual orientation
Reads travel magazines
Reads books about travel
Planning to have a child

Parents divorced in childhood
Interest in fashion

Has house plants
Economic stability
Potential inheritance
House built in ...
Household smokers
Has senior needs
Has diabetes
Easy to get addicted to
Physically weak
Interest in Elvis memories
Preferred communication device
Empty nest syndrome


Society is beginning to realize that this "digital reputation" could limit its capabilities.


People change their behavior to get better reviews.

Social cooling describes the negative long-term effects of life in a reputation economy:

1. A culture of conformity

Have you ever hesitated to choose a link because you thought your access would be saved and made you look bad?

More and more feel this pressure and start to censor themselves. This is known as the 'chilling' effect.

The irony: Freedoms are not restricted, we just don't dare to use them ..

2. A culture of risk aversion

When doctors were evaluated in New York, the results were unexpected.

Doctors trying to help patients with advanced cancer had a higher mortality rate, which resulted in a lower score.

Doctors who did not try to help were rewarded with higher ratings even though their patients died prematurely.

Evaluation systems can lead to undesirable incentives and increase the pressure to adjust to a bureaucratic average.

3. Increasing social rigidity

Digital rating systems limit our ability and our will to protest against injustice.

In China, every adult receives a government-prescribed "social credit score". This rating represents individual good behavior and is based on criminal record entries, social media posts, purchases, and even the ratings of their friends.

With a low rating, you won't get a job with authorities, a visa, cheap credit, or even no online date.

Social pressure is the most powerful and subtle form of control.

While our weaknesses are held in ...

We are becoming too transparent.


This leads to a society where self-censorship and risk aversion are the new normal.


We become more good, but also less humane?

Let's undermine our creative economy?

Does this affect our ability to develop as a society?


Let's compare this problem to global warming.

•  Social cooling is subtle. The pollution of our social environment is invisible to most, just like pollution in the beginning.




Public awareness is low.





In the next 10 years we have to develop a more mature and differentiated way of handling our personal data.






When algorithms evaluate everything we do, we need to protect the right to error.

When big data remembers everything, we need the right to forget our mistakes.

In our high-tech world ...