Would you sacrifice your privacy if it meant you were safer?


18th May 2018

IF it helped to keep you safer, would you be happy for CCTV to be installed in every public place? How about giving your fingerprints or a DNA sample to the police for a national database?

Thousands of members of the public were asked these questions by YouGov, to try to find out whether people thought privacy or safety was most important to them.

The results showed that most people (between 57-63%) supported the idea of compulsory ID cards for every citizen. Many countries already have these, but many Brits haven’t liked the idea whenever it has been suggested.

Slightly more people supported the idea of CCTV everywhere, particularly in relation to tackling terrorism.

More than half (50-59%) would be happy to be on a national DNA database, while 53-64% would let their fingerprints be on a similar database.


What’s more important to you? Privacy or safety?

Would you sacrifice your privacy if it meant you were safer?


Leave a Reply

wren · 4 years ago

I'm sceptical of this - it could so easily be abused and used in the wrong way. Humanity has survived and thrived for so long without CCTV cameras and high tech security - why decide to take away everyone's privacy now?

cmi_hall1 · 4 years ago

YES I would but it if it was in public toilets I would definitely say no.I think it's good that the country is making changes to keep us safe after a large amount of terrorism.

xcurlysuex · 4 years ago

I think that extra security would be good because it could help prevent crimes because people may be put off doing anything illegal if they knew that cameras were everywhere.

molly2007 · 4 years ago


explorer12 · 4 years ago

Privacy is an important thing and I would feel uncomfortable with cameras everywhere.

buddyboi · 4 years ago

I Live in a small town (I won't tell you the name of course!) Which hardly ever experienced crime so this dosent effect me much. However, crime is happens almost every single day in cities like London and Manchester, so I think this would be a good idea! (But this depends partly on where you live)

melon_cow7 · 4 years ago

NO WAY!!! I would definitely rather to have privacy

kimpearce · 4 years ago

No, because sometimes you need privacy I do not want CCTV cameras watching everything I do.

watty265 · 4 years ago

Being safe is the most important part of life meaning that it is more important than a small amount of privacy. Crimes like terrorism need to be stopped and this could be a way to do so.

bobfm · 4 years ago

No I think that I would be scared! I need my own privacy so maybe

sgadders · 4 years ago

I am in between.
This is a very difficult question and I had to also ask my parents to help me. I would be happy to have cameras in some places (like supermarkets and places like that) but when there are cameras
everywhere I would feel like I am being watched and that people would almost be kind of on top of me in a way. I voted no but if there was an in between one I would definitely choose that. I think that this is a very good question and it will get everyone thinking.

(: (:

natalija · 4 years ago

Safety is a lot more important than privacy, and if it means that there will be less crimes, then we can give up our privacy.

darjap · 4 years ago

I would rather have privacy as in some cases it is limked to safety; the less people know about you the less probability there is for a criminal to know who you are.

dcfan · 4 years ago

No, everyone is talking about being safe online and why should it be any different offline?

missgalaxy · 4 years ago

Lets talk proper, do you know anyone who has actually been attacked or robbed?! They cost so much money to install, whats the point? We are a good country, and we trust each other

spagletti · 4 years ago

I think that wren is right, we can’t sacrifice our privacy and it could be easily tapped. But I think that in areas where there are lots of fights then there should be cameras after a certain time.

irock122 · 4 years ago

Ooo hard one! I think that privacy should not be allowed to be seen on cameras.At our school (and others) we learn about staying safe and privacy.

doctor2010 · 4 years ago

NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????

pug55 · 4 years ago

I would like it in the streets and public but not in toilets

coolio99 · 4 years ago

I think it is vital that you should be safer because even though you rarely get robbed it is still better and safer to at least get some more security just to be safe. Even if it needs your personal data and a DNA sample.

sisi · 4 years ago

Yes, because it's true that safety should come first, before ANYTHING. However, I would say no if 'public places' included public toilets and showers, definitely.

pawsomecat · 4 years ago

Yes. Because a robber might steal stuff and get in trouble. If no then the world whould be filled with criminals and the world won't be a happier place.

firegirl16 · 4 years ago

I wouldn't- who would like it if CCTV cameras watch everything they do?

unicorn3 · 4 years ago

@wren, I completely agree as it has not been used for centuries and we have mostly been fine so why now???????

ceejay101 · 4 years ago

Maybe. It would depend what it’s for. It might make you quite paranoid, thinking about people constantly watching you

[email protected] · 4 years ago

So? It's not as if every second of the day is being recorded. The Government probably already knows what you do online (or how many hours a day you spend on Fortnite) and your ALWAYS close to at least one security camera and if crimes can be prevented, there really is no question. The Government will just know slightly more about you than they already do.

oceangirl5 · 4 years ago

i'm in 2 minds, I would like to be safer but also like to keep private things private!

draco · 4 years ago

what if it is too private

shpee · 4 years ago

Britain's population makes up about 1% of the total population of Earth, whilst we have 20% (1/5) of the worlds CCTV cameras. That's one camera for every 14 people, with London having the second highest amount of CCTV cameras in one city, second only to Beijing. Now, that might not sound so bad because that's only second most, right? But that is only until you realise that the population of Beijing is about 21.71 MILLION people, which is almost a third of the entire population of Britain! So no, I think we already have enough CCTV cameras, and I don't think we need compulsory ID cards. If we do, then Britain might end up sounding like some sort of strange dystopia.

redpikachu · 4 years ago

I think yes for major cities like London or Manchester but it really isn't necessary for them to be EVERYWHERE.Also I hardly exprience any crime and then I live in a major city so I think I'm somewhere in between.

redpikachu · 4 years ago

But compulsory ID cards are really unnecessary and could cause danger instead of security like for instance someone steals another's ID card and uses it to gather info on someone before burgling them or even killing them.So that's a no on my part.

joshyac · 4 years ago

I wouldn't mind, but as long as if it wasn't somewhere I would like to have privacy like public toilets and I wouldn't want it used unnecessarily to spy on people.

mollyboo8 · 4 years ago

Because you don't wan't people always watching your every move,all the time do you/or not?

Reply underneath if you want to,do you want other people to watch your every move or not?


bookcrazy1 · 4 years ago

No, because privacy is one of the Rights of the Child. However I wouldn't mind to have my fingerprints put on a national database. But CCTV everywhere is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Especially in a public loo...
But I do still think it might work in the bigger cities to stop crime. But just in the big cities - NOWHERE ELSE!

bookcrazy1 · 4 years ago

@wren I totally agree. We were fine without it!

tabbycat29 · 4 years ago

I said no but I’m not sure because I don’t want everyone to be able to see my private details and how could sacrificing them make me safer? Wouldn’t it just make it more dangerous?

tka10 · 4 years ago

i mean why would you put cctv cameras in a toilet this could so easily go wrong has there been a murder in a toilet not in five years or something so why would we sacrifice our privacy

yoyeah27 · 4 years ago


12kpalme · 4 years ago

I'm not sure :(

jamesy10 · 4 years ago

Why should life be a complete override of electric cameras?

nergit · 4 years ago

Well, I wouldn't like to be vulnerable to anyone, but I also like to have some privacy sometimes. Probably yes, I wouldn't like to be attacked by anyone. ?❌

1isme · 4 years ago

There is a dispute over rights vs security, but in this case you are not being deprived of your rights. The public belongs to the people and you have little need for privacy in public. If you needed privacy, you would go to a private place. You are more secure and security is your right so it is just giving you your rights.

1isme · 4 years ago

I live in a deprived area, in Glasgow, the most dangerous city in Europe. (I won’t tell you which area). I would feel much better if more CCTV was put in place.

nannycelia · 4 years ago

What are we at risk of

oceangirl · 4 years ago

But what about my privacy

fox64 · 4 years ago

Not sure.

crazyfish6 · 4 years ago

No, sometimes privacy is very important and it is also sometimes safer if you are left to do things without people watching you 24/7.

penguin2 · 4 years ago

I feel I am safe already

lollipop33 · 3 years ago

People need their privacy!

hector7 · 3 years ago

I don’t want the police looking at me on the loo!

celtic10 · 2 years ago

We would be safer if taught self defence at school