So far, we’ve discussed the benefits of participating in the upcoming 2020 census. It’s important to be counted for purposes of getting the correct number of seats in Congress for federal funding, which affects transit, Medicaid and myriad other services. But I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss the safety of the census as it regards to your identity and other data.
Any information you submit to the U.S. Census Bureau is protected by law. The bureau may not release any information that identifies you individually. Any census employee or contractor who violates those provisions of the law is liable for up to $250,000 in fines and/or up to five years in prison.
Data you submit to the census bureau also may not be used against you. Your data is confidential even to other government agencies. The FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not have access to any data you submit to the bureau. The information you submit is only used to produce statistics for population — no other purpose.
In addition, any data you submit to the bureau is safe from the threat of technological intrusion. The data is protected by strong authentication and authorization methods so that it may only be accessed by authorized individuals. Your information is secure throughout the entirety of the census process. Whether responding online, by phone, by mail or in person, your data is protected and secured at all times.
My hope, and the hope of the Complete Count Committee, is that any fears you may have of participating in the census will be lessened or done away with, and that you will participate and encourage others to do so. Completing the census can only benefit you and your community. Please help ensure yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors are counted.