The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. The exemptions commonly used at the U.S. Census bureau include but are not limited to:
The Privacy Act establishes a code of fair information practices that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. The Privacy Act:
A Privacy Act request allows individuals to gain access to their own personal records (unless the requested records are exempted from disclosure), and to seek correction or amendment of federally maintained records that are inaccurate, incomplete or untimely. Privacy Act requests made to the Census Bureau allows individuals to gain access to records about "themselves" that are filed "in a system of records’’ that can only be retrieved by your name and at least one other personal identifier (Name, DOB, SSN, etc.).
You are required to provide some proof of identity before records will be disclosed. A completed and signed Certification of Identity form, BC-300 [PDF <1.0 MB] will meet this requirement.
Requestors can submit Privacy Act requests through FOIAonline.gov. By utilizing FOIAonline.gov, users can:
Other ways that requestors can also submit Privacy Act requests are: