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Consequences of Trust  Foreword


Summary of Key Findings


The analysis of the survey’s results points to an overall negative reputation of the ID authorities as perceived by EU citizens. A vast majority of the respondents do not have trust in the institutions; they are seriously critical about the competency of the authorities, and are dubious about the authorities’ ability to handle personal data.  


Of the 25 European Union countries, we received answers from 23 countries. However, the low number of responses from some of the countries and the lack of representativeness did not allow us to compare individual countries, but only regions.  


A systematic comparison of response means across the five regions indicates that respondents from UK and Ireland were the most negative in almost all attitudinal questions. Germany, Austria, Finland and the Scandinavian countries were quite close to the mean of the responses from UK & Ireland in all cases. Since these were the two biggest groups, the overall mean of the answers was close to the mean in the above two regions.  


At the same time, respondents form Central and Eastern Europe were at the other end of the attitudinal scale. For these countries responses to most of the questions were the most positive. Respondents from this region were less critical about the ID authorities in general.  


The southern part of Europe shows the most interesting structure of answers, the standard deviation was the highest here. In other words, the answers show the biggest variance in these countries. A possible reason for the big variance is the cultural diversity of the region we called Southern Europe. 


Within the group of respondents from UK and Ireland the strongest negative attitude is found in the judgment of ability to assess the benefits and risks when giving personal data to ID authorities. These respondents did not believe that the companies involved in the ID card project will be able to protect their personal data. Thus, the general level of institutional trust was very low in this region.  


Central and Eastern Europe, by contrast, presented the highest level of acceptance. Respondents from this region appear much less worried about the way in which their personal ID data will be managed. For example, they accept that the ID authorities may use the information for purposes different from the original. 


Gender differences feature strongly in some of the responses. In general, male respondents were more negative in their views. In the questions about the legal framework, the difference was 20 percent between the number of “strongly disagree” answers for the groups of women and men respectively.  


Besides gender, the age of respondents showed a strong effect on responses. Younger respondents generally tended to report much more openness about the new ID card, and less criticism on ID authorities. Older respondents form a special group, especially the age group 40 and 54, who were the most negative in all questions. 


The size of the settlement and the years spent in education had much smaller effects. The answers were typically divided into two groups: respondents from large towns had slightly more pessimistic ideas about the future of ID cards, while the respondents who live in the countryside were more optimistic. 


Finally, education has almost no effect on the answers. This result may be link to the lack of data sampling in the survey. Current involvement in education made a clearly visible difference, as the students had much lower values, that is, they generally accept the new technology and the authorities who are to manage ID data.  



Consequences of Trust  fidis-wp4-del4.5.a_survey_on_EU_citizens_trust_04.sxw  Conclusion
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