Poll: Nearly One-Third Of Gen Z Wants Government Cameras In Homes

The proliferation of digital cameras and other types of modern technology has made it easier than ever for government agencies and private-sector entities to engage in widespread surveillance campaigns.

While totalitarian regimes have seized on the opportunity to spy on citizens at every possible opportunity, Americans can cling to some semblance of privacy — at least when they are at home and not tethered to an internet-connected device.

Americans old enough to remember a time before cameras were ubiquitous and information could be shared almost instantly tend to appreciate privacy where they can still find it. A recent Cato Institute poll, however, found that those under the age of 30 have a much different perspective.

In a survey of 2,000 Americans, pollsters found that nearly 30% of those in Generation Z favored placing government cameras inside of every home in order “to reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity.”

Among respondents of all ages, the notion was widely unpopular, with three-fourths of respondents denouncing such a program and another 10% saying they were not sure. Only 14% of all those polled said they would support constant surveillance of Americans in their homes, meaning that the under-30 demographic was more than twice as likely as the general population to provide such a response.

About one-fifth of respondents between the ages of 30 and 44 said they were on board with the idea.

Across other demographic lines, there was evidence that race plays a part in influencing the popularity of government surveillance. White respondents were the least likely to favor it and Asians were only slightly more supportive.

At the other end of the spectrum, about one-fourth of Hispanics and one-third of Blacks said they would like the government to install cameras in private residences nationwide.

Self-identified liberals were the likeliest of all ideological groups to endorse surveillance with 19% support — but it is worth noting that those who called themselves “very liberal” were tied with conservatives at the bottom of the list with just 9% support.

Of course, the tenuous balance between providing security and protecting privacy has been an issue since the earliest days of the United States, as founding father Benjamin Franklin addressed when he wrote that “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”