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2020 Census : Privacy

This guide draws upon work by Katherine Paterson, Loyola University Libraries and Linda Zellmer, Western Illinois University Library

Protecting Privacy of Census Information

Privacy & Security | Privacidad y Seguridad

The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. In fact, every employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life.  Your information cannot be shared with other government agencies. 

Como la Oficina del Censo protege su infomacion personal.

This Is How the Federal Government Can – and Can’t – Use Census Information, from the Brennan Center for Justice.  For more detail read the report, Federal Laws that Protect Census Confidentiality, authored by Kelly Percival a staff attorney at the Brennan Center.

2020 Census and Confidentiality - factsheet

Data Protection & Privacy - from the Census Bureau

Avoid Scams | Evite fraudes y estafas

Census information will be sent to residences through the US Postal Service inviting you to complete the questionnaire using the Census website from their personal computer, mobile phone or tablet. 

The Census Bureau will never:

  • send unsolicited email
  • ask for your social security number
  • ask for money or donations
  • ask for your bank account or credit card numbers
  • contact you on behalf of a political party

Report scams to

If someone visits your home to collect a response for the 2020 Census, verify their identity:

  • Check that they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
  • If you still have questions call 800-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

If it is determined that the visitor who came to your door does not work for the Census Bureau, contact your local police department

History of Privacy Protection

Poster showing History of Census Privacy Protections