Skip to content!

Public Confidence in Digital Security Policy

Press Release of August 20, 2014

Both economic and security policies increasingly rely on opportunities to use and analyze personal data. These opportunities are, however, not universally considered to be positive bythe general public. This applies to digital surveillance in particular. DIW Berlin has analyzed how much trust the general public has in surveillance measures such as communicationsdata retention or the storage of flight passenger data and to what extent this trust is affected by stakeholders involved in monitoring. DIW Berlin also studied how the public view the exchange of personal data between the German security authorities, between EU member states, and with third-party countries such as the US. To this end, it analyzedpublic trust based on representative data from the research project entitled "Security in Public Space (SIRA)." The underlying survey was conducted in November and December 2011. It revealed major differences in the acceptance of various surveillance measures. Dissemination of passenger data is seen more positively than data retention. In contrast, the generalpopulation has limited trust in companies involved in communications data retention and the storage of passenger data. In particular, their handling and protection of the data collected gets criticized. Furthermore, individuals who view the exchange of personal data positively have far more confidence in the work of the security authorities and private security companies.