Acceptance of Voting Technology: Between Confidence and Trust

  • Wolter Pieters
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3986)


Social aspects of security of information systems are often discussed in terms of “actual security” and “perceived security”. This may lead to the hypothesis that e-voting is controversial because in paper voting, actual and perceived security coincide, whereas they do not in electronic systems. In this paper, we argue that the distinction between actual and perceived security is problematic from a philosophical perspective, and we develop an alternative approach, based on the notion of trust. We investigate the different meanings of this notion in computer science, and link these to the philosophical work of Luhmann, who distinguishes between familiarity, confidence and trust. This analysis yields several useful distinctions for discussing trust relations with respect to information technology. We apply our framework to electronic voting, and propose some hypotheses that can possibly explain the smooth introduction of electronic voting machines in the Netherlands in the early nineties.


Election System Vote System Security Protocol Trust Relation Actual Security 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolter Pieters
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Computing and Information SciencesRadboud University NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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