Is it safe to provide my information to the Census Bureau over the internet?

Yes. The Census Bureau will keep your responses to the survey safe, secure and encrypted at all times. The U.S. Census Bureau is only tabulating the data collected from your survey anonymously and on a broad scale. There are several legal protections which exist to safeguard your privacy and the confidentiality of your responses.

The Census Act (also known as Title 13) includes strict confidentiality provisions prohibiting any employees of the Commerce Department or Census Bureau from using information collected via the decennial Census for anything other than the production of statistical databases. Additionally, Title 13 prohibits any federal, state and local agencies from using data collected via the decennial Census to the "detriment" of any individual who responded to the survey from which the dataset is built.

Your individual information is protected under a federal law known as the "72-year rule" which mandates that individual-level records are protected for 72 years after the Census is taken. For privacy reasons, access to personally identifiable information contained in decennial Census records is restricted to all but the individual named on the records or their legal heir for 72 years. 

Show All Answers

1. What is the Census?
2. Why does the Census matter?
3. How do I respond to the Census?
4. Is it safe to provide my information to the Census Bureau over the internet?
5. What if I am not a U.S. citizen, does the Census still count me?
6. Will there be a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census survey?
7. What does it mean if the citizenship question is added to the Census?