U.S. Department of Commerce

Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Title 13 - Protection of Confidential Information

Sections 9 and 214 of Title 13

Sec. 9. Information as confidential; exception

(a) Neither the Secretary, nor any other officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, or local government census liaison may, except as provided in section 8 or 16 or chapter 10 of this title or section 210 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998.(1)

  1. Use the information furnished under the provisions of this title for any purpose other than the statistical purposes for which it is supplied; or
  2. Make any publication whereby the data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this title can be identified; or
  3. Permit anyone other than the sworn officers and employees of the Department or bureau or agency thereof to examine the individual reports. No department, bureau, agency, officer, or employee of the Government, except the Secretary in carrying out the purposes of this title, shall require, for any reason, copies of census reports which have been retained by any such establishment or individual. Copies of census reports, which have been so retained, shall be immune from legal process, and shall not, without the consent of the individual or establishment concerned, be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any action, suit, or other judicial or administrative proceeding.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section relating to the confidential treatment of data for particular individuals and establishments, shall not apply to the censuses of governments provided for by subchapter III of chapter 5 of this title, nor to interim current data provided for by subchapter IV of chapter 5 of this title as to the subjects covered by censuses of governments, with respect to any information obtained therefore that is compiled from, or customarily provided in, public records.


Sec. 214. Wrongful disclosure of information

Whoever, being or having been an employee or staff member referred to in subchapter II of chapter 1 of this title, having taken and subscribed the oath of office, or having sworn to observe the limitations imposed by section 9 of this title, or whoever, being or having been a census liaison within the meaning of section 16(2) of this title, publishes or communicates any information, the disclosure of which is prohibited under the provisions of section 9 of this title, and which comes into his possession by reason of his being employed (or otherwise providing services) under the provisions of this title, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.


1. The Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994, P.L. 103-430 amends section 9(a) by inserting "or local government census liaison" and adding references to section 16. P.L. 105-119, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998, adds the reference to section 210.

2. The Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-430) amends section 214 making references to section 16 and "census liaisons."

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Privacy Office | Last Revised: September 27, 2012