The Surveillance Society: Which Factors Form Public Acceptance of Surveillance Technologies?

  • Julia van HeekEmail author
  • Katrin Arning
  • Martina Ziefle
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 738)


Currently, surveillance technologies are increasingly used to give people a sense of safety in medical as well as crime surveillance contexts. On the one hand, perceived safety can be supported by adequate surveillance technologies (e.g., cameras), however, the systematic use of surveillance technologies undermines individual privacy needs on the other hand. In this empirical study, we explore users’ perceptions on safety and privacy in the context of surveillance systems. In order to understand if the acceptance of surveillance depends on usage contexts, surveillance technologies in the urban were compared to the medical context. Using an online survey, 119 users were requested to indicate their acceptance regarding different types of surveillance contexts and technologies, differentiating perceived benefits and barriers as well as safety and privacy needs. We investigate acceptance differences towards surveillance technologies at various locations (private and public) as well. In this paper, we especially explore the impact of different surveillance contexts, locations and individual perceived crime threat on the acceptance of surveillance technologies and on the needs for privacy and safety.


Technology acceptance Surveillance technologies Privacy Safety Fear of crime Medical vs. Crime surveillance Public vs. Private environments 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia van Heek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrin Arning
    • 1
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction CenterRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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