Social acceptance of technology is a concept that indicates the degree to which ‘a new technology is accepted – or merely tolerated – by a community’. Acceptance, in turn, refers to the act of receiving something that is offered, of giving an affirmative reply to it, and accommodating to it with approval. In this sense, social acceptance differs from ethics and stakeholder involvement. To distinguish one from the other, ethics refers to a systematic reflection, a philosophical critique, and an evaluation of customs, habits and traditions in a given context. Therefore, while ethics is a normative concept, and as such requires mostly a desk-based research (although supplemented by stakeholder involvement), social acceptance, in turn, is a mainly empirical concept, and as such needs to be assessed on the basis of verifiable information or experience.
Casiraghi, Simone; James Peter Burgess & Kristoffer Lidén (2021) Social acceptance and border control technologies, in Border Control and New Technologies: Addressing Integrated Impact Assessment. Brussels: ASP Academic and Scientific Publishers (99–115).