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.

Mary Longoria is a member of the Census Complete Counts Committee and lives in Galveston.

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(6) comments

Bailey Jones

I seriously doubt that there is any info on the census form that hasn't already been gathered and sold by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc., or stolen from the businesses we frequent, or our credit bureaus. The census should be the least of our worries.

Carlos Ponce

One may look up information from a previous census up to 1940. Will the 2020 Census always be confidential?

From th1940 Census we can tell:

1. Street, avenue, road, etc.

2. House number.

3. Number in household.

4. Home owned or rented.

5. Value of the home.

6. Does the household live on a farm?

7. Name of each person whose usual place of residence on April 1, 1940 was in this household.

8. Relation to the head of the household.

9. Sex, male or female.

10. Color or race.

11. Age at last birthday.

12. Marital status.

13. Attended school or college at any time since March 1, 1940.

14. Highest grade of school completed.

15. Name of state or foreign country born in.

16. Citizenship of foreign born.

17. City , town or village you lived in March 1, 1935.

18. County you lived in March 1, 1935.

19. State you lived in March 1, 1935.

20. Was this oa farm?

21. At work for private or non-government emergency March 24-30.

22. Worked or assigned to emergency work (WPA, NYA, CCC, etc) March 24-30.

23. Seeking work?

24. If not seeking, had a job.

25. Engaged in house work, at school, unable to work, other.

26. Number of hours worked March 24-30.

27. Duration of unemployment in weeks up to March 20.

28. Occupation.

29 Industry.

30. Class of worker.

31. Number of weeks worked in 1939.

32. Income in 1939.

33. If the person received income of $50 or more outside of wages or salary.

34. Number of farm schedule.

Bailey Jones

Census info is protected for 72 years, pursuant to US law.

Paul Hyatt

What a shame that we are not just counting legal citizens and not all of the others for democrat gerrymandering purposes.

Bailey Jones

Take it up with the constitution. Apportionment is based on persons, not just American persons.

Jose' Boix

I believe that given current times, it will be difficult to convince individuals who are "undocumented" to share census required information. It will be a hard sell that the information will not somehow be shared.

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