I’ve heard a lot of complaining about filling out the Census forms, and I can’t quite get a handle on why people wouldn’t want to turn in this information.
The Census form includes several explainers in the paperwork quoting a federal law and reassure people that their information will not be turned over to the IRS or any form of law enforcement. So I guess people are worried about being turned over the IRS or immigration or some other law enforcement agency.
I’m not sure how realistic that fear is if there is a federal law stating they can’t share that information with any other agency.
Protecting your information
Federal law protects your information, and we have developed policies and statistical safeguards to help us follow the law and further ensure the confidentiality of your information. 1
“Your Information Is
We never identify you individually.
1. Federal Law
Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information. Violating this law is a crime with severe penalties.
Our Privacy Principles are guidelines that cover all of our activities. These principles encompass both our responsibilities to protect your information and your rights as a respondent. They apply to the information we collect and the statistics we publish.
Statistical methods ensure that the statistics we release do not identify individuals or businesses. These methods include extensive review and analysis of all our data products, as well as disclosure avoidance methodologies such as data suppression and modification.
We recognize the value of your trust, and we believe that when you answer our surveys we must serve as caretakers of your information. If you would like to learn more about how we fulfill this responsibility, please visit our data stewardship pages.”
They do warn not to give out your Social Security number to anyone saying they are a Census worker and also warn about other scams. From the U.S. Census Web site:
‘Phishing’ is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, bank account or credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Phishing is typically carried out by email and it often directs users to enter sensitive information at a fake web site whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.
- The Census Bureau does NOT conduct the 2010 Census via the Internet
- The Census Bureau does not send emails about participating in the 2010 Census
- The Census Bureau never:
- Asks for your full social security number
- Asks for money or a donation
- Sends requests on behalf of a political party
- Requests PIN codes, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.
How to report scams and bogus Census web sites
If you believe you have been contacted as part of bogus or fraudulent activity falsely representing the Census Bureau:
- In Person Scam
- Check for a valid Census ID badge
- Call your regional office to verify you are in a survey
- Email Scams
- If you think it is a bogus email, do not reply or click on any links within the email.
- Do not open any attachments. Attachments may contain code that could infect your computer
- Forward the email or web site URL to the Census Bureau at ITSO.Fraud.Reporting@census.gov.
- After you forward the email to us, delete the message. You will not receive a confirmation email after forwarding the information to us. However, the Census Bureau will investigate the information and notify you of its findings.
- Mail Scams
- Contact the United States Postal Inspection Service”
I personally think it’s cool to have a snapshot of our country at this point it time. You can look book at the Census reports through our history and see how our country has developed and changed. Plus don’t you want the correct number of representatives and services geared toward your community’s needs?
I filled out our family’s Census forms last night and will be popping it in the mail today. It wasn’t painful and took about five minutes. Our biggest discussion was what to list Michael’s and the children’s race as. (I usually fill in mixed for the kids at school but that wasn’t a choice. But you can mark more than one race so that’s what we did. )
So will you be filling out your Census forms? What is the worry or concern in doing so? What am I missing here?