Making Sense of the Census
The writers of the Constitution established the U.S. Census as a way to understand and meet the needs of America’s growing population. However, in the modern era, concerns about privacy and data collection pose a few complications to this end goal.
How does participation impact privacy and civil rights? What does the Federal government do with the information it collects through the Census? How can the information it obtains be used — or not be used? It can be difficult to know what — or who — to believe when it comes to disclosing personal information about you and your family.
The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them anonymous and confidential. The answers you provide are used to produce statistics. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot release any information that could identify you, your family members, your home or your business, even to law enforcement agencies.
If you have any questions or suspicions about a U.S. Census Bureau survey, phone call or mailing, contact the Bureau’s Regional Office in Los Angeles at 1-800-992-3530. Visit census.gov/cgi-bin/main/email.cgi to verify that a person is a U.S. Census Bureau employee and authorized to collect information.
Did You Know?
Every U.S. Census Bureau employee must take an oath to protect your personal information for life.
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