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Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Data Stewardship

Partnership and Trust

The U.S. Census Bureau’s mission is to meet America’s data needs by producing accurate, relevant statistics about the nation's economy and people. We recognize, however, that it is your information that we collect to produce these statistics, and that we are legally and morally obligated to protect your privacy and confidentiality.

  • We need your answers to produce high quality statistics that are relevant and accurate.
  • You must be certain that your personal or business information will remain strictly confidential.

In short, a partnership of trust exists between you and the Census Bureau. We recognize that you have entrusted your information to us, and our highest priority is to maintain your trust.

The Census Bureau’s approach to maintaining this trust is called Data Stewardship.

Data Stewardship at Work

Data Stewardship is the formal process we use to care for your information — from the beginning, when you answer a survey, to the end, when we release statistical data products. Data Stewardship goes beyond the law to ensure that any decisions we make will fulfill our ethical obligations to respect your privacy and protect the confidentiality of your information.

  • The Census Bureau’s mission statement states that "We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly."
  • Our Privacy Principles shape how we complete this mission throughout all of our activities.
  • A key strategic goal is to "Foster an environment that supports innovation, reduces respondent burden, and ensures individual privacy."
  • The Data Stewardship program ensures our ideals are put into action and requires accountability through the Data Stewardship Executive Policy Committee. This committee reviews key issues and sets policy concerning privacy, confidentiality, and data access.
  • Every survey and program at the Census Bureau must comply with Data Stewardship policies developed to protect your information at every step in the survey or program.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Privacy Office | Last Revised: August 28, 2012