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The U.S. Census Bureau announced today the establishment of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations and has named Barry Steinhardt as a member of the committee.
The National Advisory Committee will advise the Census Bureau on a wide range of variables that affect the cost, accuracy and implementation of the Census Bureau's programs and surveys, including the once-a-decade census. The committee, which is comprised of 32 members from multiple disciplines, will advise the Census Bureau on topics such as housing, children, youth, poverty, privacy, race and ethnicity, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other populations.
“We expect that the expertise of this committee will help us meet emerging challenges the Census Bureau faces in producing statistics about our diverse nation,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director. “By helping us better understand a variety of issues that affect statistical measurement, this committee will help ensure that the Census Bureau continues to provide relevant and timely statistics used by federal, state and local governments as well as business and industry in an increasingly technologically oriented society.”
The National Advisory Committee members, who serve at the discretion of the Census Bureau director, are chosen to serve based on expertise and knowledge of the cultural patterns, issues and/or statistical needs of hard-to-count populations.
Barry Steinhardt recently retired from the American Civil Liberties Union after a 28-year career that included service as associate director and founding ACLU's Program on Technology and Liberty. Steinhardt is the first chairman of the newly established Friends of Privacy USA and is a trustee and senior adviser to London-based Privacy International. He is a member of the Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee and the board of directors of the ACLU of Virginia. He chairs the steering committee of the Computer, Freedom and Privacy Conferences. Steinhardt has advocated for privacy and information technology issues, speaking to audiences ranging from the National Conference of State Legislatures, to the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence, to the annual conference of the World's Privacy Commissions. He has written on privacy and free expression issues in a variety of periodicals, ranging from USA Today, to CIO Magazine, to the journal of the Davos World Economic Forum. He has served on a wide variety of panels and boards, including the Department of Transportation's negotiated rulemaking on national driver's license standards, the Census Advisory Committee and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Genetics of the National Conference of State Legislatures. He also was selected to be a member of the U.S. delegation to the G-8 conference on cyber crime and served as an adviser to the Czech Helsinki Committee. In 1998, Steinhardt took a leave of absence from the ACLU to serve as president of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.