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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Your Privacy and the Census 2010

Yesterday, I posted in this blog encouraging all residents of California to be counted this coming 2010 Census by April 1, 2010. One of the comments I received is about Privacy concerns and that the Federal government may be getting to involve in our private lives and may used the data from the census to our detriment. Below is an answer to your concerns about privacy and confidentiality of data gathered by the US Census. I hope the following will remove your distrust and concerns about privacy issues. Here is the article from http://www.californiacompletecount.org

Privacy and the Census

The U.S. Census depends on your cooperation and trust, and promises to protect the confidentiality of your information. Federal law protects your information, and the U.S. Census has developed policies and statistical safeguards to help follow the law and further ensure the confidentiality of your information. Title 13 of the U.S. Code in addition to other federal laws, including the Confidential Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act reinforce these protections.

Information Collection to Produce Statistics

Your information is collected to produce statistics. Your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.  The methods used to produce these statistics include an extensive review and analysis of all our data products, as well as disclosure avoidance methodologies such as data suppression and modification.

Disclosure Limitation Procedures
Data Swapping
Protection of Microdata Files
Sworn for Life to Protect Your Confidentiality

All Census Bureau employees take the oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data.  Violating the oath is a serious crime and hold with it a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both for the unlawful disclosure of any information.
Private information is never published

The U.S. Census Privacy Principles are guidelines that cover all of their activities. These principles encompass both their responsibilities to protect your information and your rights as a respondent. They apply to the information they collect and the statistics they publish.  It is against the law to disclose or publish any of the following information:
Addresses including GPS coordinates
Social Security Numbers
Telephone numbers

I hope the above article has alleviated your concerns about the Federal Government intruding in your privacy if you answer the 10 questions required in the Census, 2o10. BE CALIFORNIAN, BE COUNTED

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