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1950 Enumerator
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A History of Census Privacy Protections

Privacy & Confidentiality

Federal Law Protects Your Information. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code. This law not only provides authority for the work we do, but also provides strong protection for the information we collect from individuals and businesses. As a result, the Census Bureau has one of the strongest confidentiality guarantees in the federal government.

It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census or survey information that identifies an individual or business. This is true even for inter-agency communication: the FBI and other government entities do not have the legal right to access this information. In fact, when these protections have been challenged, Title 13's confidentiality guarantee has been upheld.

For more information about how the Census Bureau safeguards the data it collects, visit the agency's Data Protection and Disclosure Avoidance Working Papers Web sites.


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