Census 2020: How the Census Bureau Protects Your Data

Published on February 06, 2020


When you respond to the 2020 Census, rest assured that your personal information will be kept safe. According to law, it can't be shared with anyone — and that means anyone! Not another government agency, not law enforcement, not your landlord, nor anyone else. 

  • The Census Bureau does not identify individuals in the data it publishes — it only publishes statistics

  • It removes all personally identifiable information, such as names, telephone numbers, and addresses, from its data files

  • The latest computer technologies, statistical methodologies, and security procedures are used to protect all data collected

  • Every person with access to your information is sworn for life to protect your confidentiality

  • Violating the confidentiality of a respondent is a federal crime with severe penalties

  • The latest technology, statistical methodology, and physical security procedures are all in place to protect your information

In addition, the Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Social Security numbers

  • Bank or credit card account numbers

  • Money or donations

  • Anything on behalf of a political party

Check out this new Census Bureau infographic Through the Decades, How the Census Bureau Protects your Privacy. See how it charts the path of census safeguards from 1790 to 2020, from zero privacy to today's absolute strictures designed to maintain public trust. 


APRIL 1, 2020 IS CENSUS DAY! The U.S. Census counts every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, America gets just one chance each decade to count its population. The collected data helps to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours.

Census 2020: Safe. Important. Confidential. Learn more about how Arlington Counts.