Nearly one-third of Generation Z Americans support the idea of installing government surveillance cameras in every household, a survey found.
A CATO Institute/YouGov poll found that 29 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 would favor “ the government installing surveillance cameras in every household to reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity.”
The survey’s results came from the CATO Institute’s Central Bank Digital Currency National survey.
Overall, just 14 percent of Americans support the idea of government surveillance inside homes, while 74 percent oppose it. An additional ten percent hold no opinion on the issue.
Support for in-home government surveillance decreases when older Americans are asked the same question.
Among the 30 to 44-year-old millennial bracket, 20 percent support the idea. Americans above the age of 45 hold the least support for the idea, with just six percent in favor of it.
CATO Institute could not determine whether support for government surveillance inside Americans’ homes is linked to youth or a generational change on the subjects of privacy and security.
As CATO detailed:
We don’t know how much of this preference for security over privacy or freedom is something unique to this generation (a cohort effect) or simply the result of youth (age effect). However, there is reason to think part of this is generational. Americans over age 45 have vastly different attitudes toward in-home surveillance cameras than those who are younger.
These Americans were born in or before 1978. Thus the very youngest were at least 11 before the Berlin Wall fell. Being raised during the Cold War amidst regular news reports of the Soviet Union surveilling their own people may have demonstrated to Americans the dangers of giving the government too much power to monitor people. Young people today are less exposed to these types of examples and thus less aware of the dangers of expansive government power.
It is also possible that increased support for government surveillance among the young has common roots with what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt describe in the Coddling of the American Mind: young people seem more willing to prioritize safety (from possible violence or hurtful words) over ensuring robust freedom (from government surveillance or to speak freely).
Breaking the numbers down by racial demographics, black Americans favor the idea more than any other group, with 33 percent supporting the idea. Hispanic Americans are next, with 25 percent support, followed by Asian Americans with 11 percent support, then white Americans with nine percent.
The survey also determined that Republicans are the least likely political group to support government surveillance inside homes. The poll found that 19 percent of liberals favor the idea, 18 percent of centrists do, and 11 percent of Republicans support it.
The Cato Institute/YouGov survey polled 2,000 Americans from February 27 to March 8. The survey’s margin of error is 2.54 percent.