Between security and convenience: Facial recognition technology in the eyes of citizens in China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States
Genia Kostka, Léa Steinacker, Miriam Meckel – 2021
How does the public perceive facial recognition technology and how much do they accept facial recognition technology in different political contexts? Based on online surveys resembling the Internet-connected population in China, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, our study finds that facial recognition technology 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 facial recognition technology. While previous research has pointed out that facial recognition technology 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 United Kingdom, and the United States, but rather notions of convenience and improved security.