Between Privacy and Convenience: Facial Recognition Technology in the Eyes of Citizens in China, Germany, the UK and the US

50 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2020 Last revised: 16 Feb 2021

See all articles by Genia Kostka

Genia Kostka

Freie Universität, Berlin

Léa Steinacker

University of St. Gallen

Miriam Meckel

University of St. Gallen

Date Written: February 10, 2020

Abstract

How does the public perceive facial recognition technology (FRT) and how much do they accept FRT in different political contexts? Based on online surveys resembling the Internet-connected population in China Germany, the UK and the US, our study finds that FRT enjoys generally highest acceptance among respondents in China, while acceptance is lowest in Germany, and the United Kingdom and the United States are in between. A closer examination through the lens of an integrated technology acceptance model reveals interesting variations in the selected four countries based, among other factors, on socio-demographic factors as well as perceived consequences, usefulness, and reliability of FRT. While previous research has pointed out that FRT is an instrument for state surveillance and control, this study shows that surveillance and control are not foremost on the minds of citizens in China, Germany, the UK, and the US, but rather notions of convenience and improved security.

Keywords: facial recognition technology, acceptance, public opinion

Suggested Citation

Kostka, Genia and Steinacker, Léa and Meckel, Miriam, Between Privacy and Convenience: Facial Recognition Technology in the Eyes of Citizens in China, Germany, the UK and the US (February 10, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3518857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3518857

Genia Kostka (Contact Author)

Freie Universität, Berlin ( email )

Boltzmannstr. 3
Berlin, 14195
Germany

Léa Steinacker

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
SIAW-HSG
St.Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

Miriam Meckel

University of St. Gallen ( email )

St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

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