Census 2020: Your Privacy Is Protected

Submitted by
Herbert A. Jacobs
A number of concerns have been stated, examples: “I don’t want to give my personal information to the 2020 Census survey because somehow that information may be used against me.”
• It may be used to stop me from getting some benefit such as food assistance.
• It may be used to reduce the amount of rent payment assistance that I get.
• It may cause me to lose my Medicaid or Medicare assistance.
• It may reduce my disability and/or Social Security benefits.
• It may be turned over to law enforcement to track me down for civil or criminal investigation or for immigration purposes.
All information collected in the 2020 Census is safe, secure and protected by federal law. The answers can only be used to produce statistics (data points). The personal information is not shared with law enforcement agencies, immigration enforcement or government agencies to determine a person’s eligibility for governments benefits. By law, responses on the Census survey cannot be used against you in any way.
Under Title 13 of the U. S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau is required to keep your information private. Census employees swear to a lifetime oath to protect your information. It is a felony for a Census Bureau employee to give out your information during or after employment with the Census Bureau A penalty of up to 5 years in prison and/or $250,000 is given for violating this law. Title 44 of the U. S. Code requires your information to be held and not released until after it is 72 years old. Your information cannot be given out under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Nor can the information be given out under the Patriot Act.
On the survey, there are 7 to 9 total questions that are asked. The questions only ask:
• How many people are living in the residence (house, apartment, trailer, etc.)?
• Do you own or rent the residence?
• Telephone Number?
• Name?
• Sex (male or female)?
• Date of Birth?
• Hispanic, Spanish, Latino?
• Race?
No personal information such as Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, or Personal I.D. Number is required.
Your collected information from the survey is safe, secure and private. It is used to produce statistics (data points). By law, your responses cannot be used against you.
In 2020, the ways to respond are easier than ever. You can go online at:
by phone at:
by mail:
Fill out the paper form. Mail back in postage-paid envelope.