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 also provide strong protection for the information we collect from individuals and businesses.
Title 13 provides the following protections to individuals and businesses:
Private information is never published. It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business such, including names, addresses (including GPS coordinates), Social Security Numbers, and telephone numbers.
The Census Bureau collects information to produce statistics. Personal information cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court.
Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality. 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.
Violating the law is a serious federal crime. Anyone who violates this law will face severe penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Title 13, U.S. Code is available to download by chapter or in its entirety from the U.S. House of Representatives here.