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Title: The citizens’ perspective : awareness, feelings and acceptance of surveillance and surveillance systems for fighting crime in Malta. A quantitative study
Authors: Brockdorff, Noellie
Appleby-Arnold, Sandra
Keywords: Crime prevention -- Europe
Privacy -- Malta -- Case studies
Electronic surveillance
Privacy -- Law and legislation
Issue Date: 2015-05
Publisher: European Union
Citation: Brockdorff, N., & Appleby-Arnold, S. (2015). The citizens’ perspective : awareness, feelings and acceptance of surveillance and surveillance systems for fighting crime in Malta. A quantitative study. . RESPECT, Rules, Expectations & Security through privacy-enhanced convenient technologies (G.A. 285582). European Union.
Abstract: This document presents the results for Malta within the framework of a larger study undertaken as part of the RESPECT project – “Rules, Expectations and Security through Privacy-enhanced Convenient Technologies” (RESPECT; G.A. 285582) – which was co-financed by the European Commission within the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013). Analyses are based on a survey regarding the perceptions, feelings, attitudes and behaviours of citizens towards surveillance for the purpose of fighting crime, carried out amongst a quota sample that is representative of the population in Malta for age and gender). Responses were gathered, predominantly, through an online survey supplemented by a number of questionnaires administered in face to face interviews, in order to fulfil the quota and also reach those citizens who do not use the internet. The questionnaire consisted of 50 questions and was available online in all languages of the European Union between November 2013 and March 2014. The face to face interviews were carried out between February and March 2014. The sample is based on the responses from 260 individuals who indicated Malta as their country of residence in the online survey or were administered the questionnaire face to face. As a result, the Maltese respondents indicated overall a strongly felt lack of trust in the protection of, and control over, personal information gathered via surveillance. Further, the majority of respondents feel more unhappy than happy with the different types of surveillance (except CCTV), and they feel also unhappy about surveillance taking place without them knowing about it. Additionally, there is a link between feeling happy, or unhappy, about surveillance and feeling secure or insecure through the presence of surveillance. A large number of Maltese respondents appear to have two distinct, and very different, reactions to surveillance. Some people feel secure in the presence of surveillance, but in others surveillance produces feelings of insecurity. However, analyses also indicate that increasing the effectiveness of laws regarding the protection of personal data gathered via surveillance, more than increasing the effectiveness of surveillance measures itself, may make citizens feel more secure. More research is needed to disentangle the relationships and effects between surveillance measures, feelings of security or insecurity, and citizens’ general quality of life feelings.
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