Concerns about privacy and confidentiality have discouraged some people from participating in the 2010 census. The Department of Justice has confirmed that individual data collected in the census cannot be used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, or any other government agency – not even by order of the president.
The bureau is also alerting the public about possible online and in-person scams, and providing information on how to avoid them. Census workers who contact a household in person will have an identification badge, a canvas census bag, and a confidentiality notice.
Census workers will never:
- Initiate contact through e-mail.
- Ask for a Social Security number or identification documents.
- Ask for a donation or charge a fee.
- Ask for a credit card number or security PIN, or any banking information.
- Ask any personal question that is not one of the 10 on the census form.
A growing list of American public figures, including civil rights legend Dr. Dorothy Height and Republican strategist Karl Rove have released public service announcements through the Census Bureau encouraging Americans to safely fill out their forms.