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Executive Summary


Note: This section is mandatory for all deliverables and should help to give an overview of the topics covered in the document.


This report from the FIDIS project has been created from within the Work Package 4 on Interoperability of Identity and Identity Management Systems.  It emerges as the third in a series of investigations into the broadly social aspects concerned with sharing data, especially personal information, in respect of plans for interoperable European electronic ID systems.  This survey was designed to investigate attitudes towards a number of issues involved in making eIDs interoperable that were drawn from an underlying theoretical framework of institutional trust.  The survey questionnaire used 17 constructs, grouped into three broad categories of (1) sources of trust; (2) levels of trust; and (3) consequences of trust.


A web-based survey was translated into 8 European languages and was made available online over a period of one month in June 2006. Overall there were 1,906 valid responses to the survey with respondents from 23 out of the 25 EU countries. A limitation of the survey was, however, that the response rate from some countries was very low. In this respect, the survey cannot be said to represent all European citizens as such. In addition, this biased response rate prevented a valid comparison across countries.  


Findings arising from the analysis of the survey point to an overall negative perception of the ID authorities by EU citizens. The vast majority of the respondents do not trust the institutions; they are seriously critical about the competence of the authorities, and are dubious about their ability to handle personal data. Moreover, they are suspicious of the authorities misusing their identity data. These negative attitudes of citizens hold important implications for any future attempts at implementing eID cards, as these perceptions may well be translated into consequent behaviour, namely, resistance to use or, indeed, non-use.  The most negative attitudes were found in respondents from the UK and Ireland, and the least negative in Central and Eastern Europe.



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