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CB00-CN.11

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2000

Census Bureau's (Local Census Office/Region) Office Goes All Out to Protect Respondents' Privacy

**CENSUS BUREAU REGIONAL TEMPLATE**

Census Bureau Regional director ____________________ (name) today called census confidentiality "a bedrock guarantee" that all U.S. residents can rely on, and that this guarantee is essential to the success and integrity of Census 2000 in __________________ (city) and throughout the country.

"I want to reaffirm the Census Bureau's long-standing position to protect, without exception, the confidentiality of each person's census answers under the provisions of Title 13 of the U.S. Code," said ____________________ (name), regional director, ________________ (place). "Strict confidentiality is a matter of public trust that is taken very seriously by the Census Bureau and all its employees and contractors."

Only sworn census employees can see an individual's census answers, and the Census Bureau may not share these with the IRS, the FBI, welfare agencies, the INS or any other government agency, or with mailing list vendors or marketers.

All census workers, including those hired in __________________ (city), must pass security and employment reference checks. Census employees also may not work as tax collectors, assessors or law enforcement officials, and they know that if they divulge any personal census information they face a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

"Protecting the privacy of people who answer the census is an important part of every census-taker's training," said ____________________ (name), ________________ (region) RCC director. "The entire census operation involves hiring about 500,000 employees nationwide, and ______ (number) will be hired in the __________________ (city) region."

The Census Bureau uses more than one security measure to protect respondents' answers. These include electronic barriers or "firewalls," encryption devices and dedicated, point-to-point telephone lines. Individual answers are summarized statistically, and individual questionnaires may not be released for 72 years.

Editor's Note: News releases issued by the Census Bureau on Census 2000, as well as other activities, can be found on our Internet homepage at <http://www.census.gov>. Click on the News button to view news releases, by date and by subject, or for Census 2000 information.

"Taking part in the census is in everyone's best interest," said _________________ (local official). "People who answer the census help their communities obtain federal funding and valuable information for planning hospitals, roads and more."

For additional information about Census 2000, call the __________________ (city) regional census center at ________________ (phone), or visit the Census Bureau's Internet site at <http://www.census.gov>.

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The Census Bureau needs the help of local residents to conduct Census 2000. Job opportunities include census taker positions in communities and neighborhoods and office work. A large number of part-time positions are available. For more information on census jobs in your area, call toll-free 1-888-325-7733.

The Census Bureau guarantees that the answers given on census forms are kept strictly confidential. Information collected in Census 2000 will provide local area data needed for communities to receive federal program funds and for private sector and community planning.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014