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Title: The citizens’ perspective : awareness, feelings and acceptance of surveillance and surveillance systems for fighting crime in Spain. A quantitative study
Authors: Brockdorff, Noellie
Appleby-Arnold, Sandra
Galdon Clavell, Gemma
Rodriguez Santos, Carmen
Keywords: Crime prevention -- Europe
Privacy -- Spain -- Case studies
Electronic surveillance
Privacy -- Law and legislation
Issue Date: 2015-05
Publisher: European Union
Citation: Brockdorff, N., Appleby-Arnold, S., Galdon Clavell, G., & Rodriguez Santos, C. (2015). The citizens’ perspective : awareness, feelings and acceptance of surveillance and surveillance systems for fighting crime in Spain. A quantitative study. RESPECT, Rules, Expectations & Security through privacy-enhanced convenient technologies (G.A. 285582). European Union.
Abstract: This document presents the results for Spain 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 Spain 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 January and March 2014. The Spanish sample is based on the responses from 500 individuals who indicated Spain as their country of residence in the online survey or were administered the questionnaire face to face. As a result, the Spanish respondents indicated a strongly felt lack of trust in the protection of, and control over, personal information gathered via surveillance. At the same time, and despite the respondents’ general perception of surveillance measures being useful, surveillance measures appear not to reduce their feelings of insecurity, and analyses indicate that increasing the effectiveness of surveillance measures may not increase citizens’ feelings of security at the same rate. However, results also point at the possibility that increasing the effectiveness of laws regarding the protection of personal data gathered via surveillance may make citizens feel more secure. Further, the majority of Spanish respondents feel more unhappy than happy with the different types of surveillance (except CCTV), and particularly unhappy about surveillance taking place without them knowing about it. However, there is only a moderate link between feeling happy, or unhappy, about surveillance and feeling secure or insecure through the presence of surveillance. 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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