For Census Completion:
Information submitted to the U.S. Census Bureau is protected by federal law. Information received by the Bureau is strictly confidential, and every Bureau employee takes an oath to protect personal information—for life.
Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release a person’s identifiable information, such as names, dates of birth, or addresses. Answers provided are used only to create statistics. The Census Bureau cannot release responses in any way that could identify the responder. This strict confidentiality applies even to law enforcement. The Census Bureau cannot turn over information to any federal agency, and answers given cannot be used against that person in court.
Aside from federal law and employee oaths, the Census Bureau encrypts information submitted electronically and maintains a high level of data security in its IT infrastructure.
As a result of the strict confidentiality requirements, individuals CANNOT assist a person with their online Census questionnaires UNLESS the person directly asks for assistance.
If the individual is asked to assist someone complete the Census questionnaire, the student must tell the person:
I am not a U.S. Census employee and the answers you provide are not protect by confidentiality law with me.
In other words, the Census Bureau will continue to keep the information it receives confidential and federal law will maintain that confidentiality. However, the person completing the questionnaire must know that YOU, the individual, did not take the same oath of confidentiality required by a Census Bureau employee.
Even though the individual is not bound by the same oath, students are highly encouraged to keep information confidential.