For the first time, Americans can respond to the 2020 Census online, and many are asking: Are my online answers confidential and safe?
The answer is a resounding yes.
First, the law is very clear when it comes to confidentiality: The Census Bureau must keep everyone’s responses confidential. Your personal information cannot — and will not — be shared with any agency, including law enforcement agencies. There are no exceptions.
In fact, every Census Bureau employee takes a lifelong pledge to handle data responsibly and protect your household specific information. The Census Bureau can only use your answers to produce statistics, and it protects your answers from the moment you provide them. The Census Bureau will not identify your household, any person in your household or business.
Second, the Census Bureau takes very strong precautions to keep online responses secure with a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data. The data that’s submitted online is encrypted to protect personal privacy, and once the data is received, it’s no longer online.
You can go ahead and complete the 2020 census with peace of mind because your information will be kept confidential and safe, and because you are doing your part to help your family, friends and community.
Census data will help you and your family get funding for services in your community, including medical care, food programs, education programs and roads and bridges.
You can visit 2020census.gov and fill it out online with your computer or handheld device. If you have limited internet access, or if you prefer to stay offline, you can call 1-844-330-2020 to learn how to complete it by phone, including in the language of your choice. Or you can fill out the paper forms mailed to your home. It just takes 10 minutes to answer nine questions.
When everyone counts, everyone wins!