Paul Harvey used to say, "Now, the rest of the story." It amazes me that people quickly jump to conclusions based on commentators presenting news with "I think," "maybe," "could be" and so on.

The ruckus being raised over the census question about citizenship is unfounded. As a former census representative, I have asked that question in several surveys without any objection. Folks of French, English, Canadian, Mexican, Asian descent and more have answered the question positively.

Why? The answer is because the information conducted by the census is protected by Title 13, which makes all information confidential by law. The fine for divulging any of the information that identifies the individual is a $250,000 fine, five years in prison or both. The census representative who collected the information must take that information with them to their grave, even if they terminate from the census.

Title 13 provides the following protections to individuals and businesses:

Private information is never published. It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business such, including names, addresses (including GPS coordinates), Social Security numbers and telephone numbers. The Census Bureau collects information to produce statistics. Personal information cannot be used against respondents by any government agency or court.

Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality. People sworn to uphold Title 13 are legally required to maintain the confidentiality of your data. Every person with access to your data is sworn for life to protect your information and understands that the penalties for violating this law are applicable for a lifetime.



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