Ever thought Americans would accept government surveillance? Nearly a third of Gen Z would be ok with cameras in their homes

Source: Cato Institute 2023 CBDC National Survey

Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Nearly a Third of Gen Z Favors the Government Installing Surveillance Cameras in Homes
  • In a newly released Cato Institute 2023 Central Bank Digital Currency National Survey of 2,000 Americans, we asked respondents whether they “favor or oppose the government installing surveillance cameras in every household to reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity.” Not surprisingly, few Americans—only 14 percent—support this idea.
  • However, Americans under the age of 30 stand out when it comes to 1984‐style in‐home government surveillance cameras.
  • 3 in 10 (29 percent) Americans under 30 favor “the government installing surveillance cameras in every household” in order to “reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity.”
  • Support declines with age, dropping to 20 percent among 30–44-year-olds and dropping considerably to 6 percent among those over the age of 45.
  • Here is reason to think part of this is generational. Americans over age 45 have vastly different attitudes on 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).

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