U.S. Department of Commerce

Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

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Federal Law Protects Your Information

The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code. These laws not only provide authority for the work we do, but they also provide strong protection for the information we collect from individuals and businesses.

In addition, other federal laws, including the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act, reinforce these protections.

Title 13 Protections

  • Private Information is Never Published
    It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business:
    • No names
    • No addresses
    • No Social Security Numbers or Employer Identification Numbers
    • No telephone numbers

  • We Collect Information to Produce Statistics
    We use your information to produce statistics. Your personal information cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.

  • Sworn for Life to Protect Your Confidentiality
    Every person with access to your information is sworn for life to protect your confidentiality.

  • Violating the Law is a Serious Crime
    If anyone violates this law, it is a federal crime; they will face severe penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

Sworn for Life to Protect Confidentiality

We take Title 13 protections seriously. People sworn to uphold Title 13 are legally required to maintain the confidentiality of your data. Every person with access to your data is sworn for life to protect your information and understands that the penalties for violating this law are applicable for a lifetime.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Survey of Business Owners | (301) 763-3316 | csd.sbo@census.gov Last Revised: November 16, 2012