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
Date Written: February 10, 2020
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
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