The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code to protect individual data or personal response. Data remains confidential for 72 years.
Census Bureau employees are also sworn for life to protect your confidentiality. Violating the law is a serious federal crime punishable by a prison term of up to five years and fines.
How is My Information Protected?
The 2020 Census is safe and confidential. Your personal information can never be shared with law enforcement agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or a landlord. Census data is only used for statistical purposes.
All Census data submitted online is encrypted to protect personal privacy. Data is kept on a private, internal network behind firewalls.
Is it really from the Census Bureau?
To avoid scams here are ways to check that material is from the U.S. Census Bureau:
MAIL: All mail from the Census Bureau lists U.S. Department of Commerce offices in Jeffersonville, Indiana or Tucson, Arizona as the return address.
CALLS: Verify a call from a Census Bureau employee by checking with the National Processing Center at one of the following numbers:
- 1-800-523-3205 Jeffersonville, IN
- 1-800-642-0469 Tucson, AZ
- 1-800-877-8339 TDD/T
COVID-19 Update: The health and safety of Census Bureau staff and the public is of the utmost importance. All returning Census Bureau staff will receive safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau has ordered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all field staff, including those that work in a field office. These materials will be secured and provided to staff prior to restarting operations. For more information, please visit the 2020 Census COVID-19 operational adjustments page.
Census takers are expected to come to households that have not responded beginning August 11th and go through October 31, 2020.
To make sure a census taker is a Census Bureau employee, ask for a valid photo ID badge, which will have a Department of Commerce watermark and expiration date. Or you can ask to see a letter from the Bureau verifying the visit.
A field representatives ID can also be checked by calling the regional Census Bureau office at 1-800-852-6159, or searching the Census employee name on the following website https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/main/email.cgi
NALEO Bilingual Census Information Hotline
The NALEO Bilingual Census Hotline is free, anonymous and provides a fully trained bilingual staff and trusted messengers ready to answer all the census-related questions for the Latino community.
- Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 8:30pm ET
- 877-EL-CENSO (877-352-3676)
- Text “Census” to 97779