Census time!

Don't overlook this.  It's important for all of us!

CHECK YOUR MAILBOX

Census postcards are being sent out March 12. Your postcard with an ID number for your household should arrive in your mailbox early next week. Be sure to look for it! If you have questions, go to https://2020census.gov.

If you are asked for information like your social security number or bank account number, this is NOT the official U.S. 2020 Census, and may be fraud. For more information, go to https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html

This message is brought to you by the South Orange Complete Count Committee.


I wonder how much effect COVID-19 will have on the census, specifically those areas where workers go door-to-door.


The forms that come first are done online.  The door to door work is targeted at those who don't respond.  So, if we all fill it out online and encourage our neighbors to do the same we can greatly reduce the exposure for the workers and increase the accuracy.


Thanks for info, FilmCarp.  I was wondering about this but hadn't looked it up.


The IRS and Soc Sec have well established long time procedures in keeping their info confidential. Which is why we don't see data breaches from these two agencies.

But I no confidence that my census info containing critical data such DOB's can be kept confidential considering its a new system and the ineptitude of this administration. I've seen too many data violations, Target, Equifax, etc.


The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.


FilmCarp said:

The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.

Of course. I have as much confidence in the Census Bureau as I have in the Barr's Department of Justice, De Vos's Education, Ross's Commerce Department. All is well. 

ps - actually I do have confidence in the census professionals. But being a census professional does not make you a professional in computer data security. Who build the new system? What prevents data leakage from home user to their "cloud"? What audits were done to ensure the data security of their "cloud"? If there is a data breach, such as the RNC getting the data, can we be assured the Justice Department will follow up?


I received my form today as well and immediately filed it.  I Had an issue getting the site opened though.   It took 5 attempts before it finally opened. The message had something to do with their server.  Once I got on, it took about 10 minutes to complete for the whole family.  Same old questions, just a different process.  However, if you want a paper form you can request one and submit it by mail.  


BG9 said:

FilmCarp said:

The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.

 Of course. I have as much confidence in the Census Bureau as I have in the Barr's Department of Justice, De Vos's Education, Ross's Commerce Department. All is well. 

 Well, it's important for the rest of us that you be counted, but no one can force you.  You'll just end up estimated.


FilmCarp said:

BG9 said:

FilmCarp said:

The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.

 Of course. I have as much confidence in the Census Bureau as I have in the Barr's Department of Justice, De Vos's Education, Ross's Commerce Department. All is well. 

 Well, it's important for the rest of us that you be counted, but no one can force you.  You'll just end up estimated.

 Or you'll get an enumerator to come to your door and ask you questions in person.  And if they can't get to you, they'll ask your neighbors, which is what I did in 2010 when I worked on the census.  Some of them provided very interesting descriptions of their neighbors!


*** deleted ***


Komarovsky said:

FilmCarp said:

BG9 said:

FilmCarp said:

The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.

 Of course. I have as much confidence in the Census Bureau as I have in the Barr's Department of Justice, De Vos's Education, Ross's Commerce Department. All is well. 

 Well, it's important for the rest of us that you be counted, but no one can force you.  You'll just end up estimated.

 Or you'll get an enumerator to come to your door and ask you questions in person.  And if they can't get to you, they'll ask your neighbors, which is what I did in 2010 when I worked on the census.  Some of them provided very interesting descriptions of their neighbors!

 Just out of curiosity....did you have info provided to you about the specific addresses you were sent to?  Or were you just told that specific address hadn't filed yet? 


There is a 72 year confidentiality on the census.  Broad trends that the census indicates are made available, eg. population distribution by age or sex or education, but if you are interested i n specifics about persons in your family, date of birth, address, occupation, you have to wait 72 years before you can get that  information.  So the most recent census data that is currently available to the public is the 1940 census.  This is frustrating to researchers who are interested in local and family history, but it is meant to protect the privacy of individuals for two or three generations.


Just did my census form.

Boy, that was easy. 


EricBurbank said:

 Just out of curiosity....did you have info provided to you about the specific addresses you were sent to?  Or were you just told that specific address hadn't filed yet? 

 I was an enumerator for the 1980 census, assigned to collect unsubmitted long forms. As I recall, we had the information from the previous census, but it was almost always from the short forms, so it wasn't that helpful. If we couldn't collect any information from the household, we were supposed to make a reasonable effort to check with neighbors to at least determine the number of occupants of the house and approximate ages.


kthnry said:

 I was an enumerator for the 1980 census, assigned to collect unsubmitted long forms. As I recall, we had the information from the previous census, but it was almost always from the short forms, so it wasn't that helpful. If we couldn't collect any information from the household, we were supposed to make a reasonable effort to check with neighbors to at least determine the number of occupants of the house and approximate ages.

You had the short form info from the previous census that was specific to the household? Well, oit of the window goes the 72 year confidentiality that lizziecat mentioned.


BG9 said:

You had the short form info from the previous census that was specific to the household? Well, oit of the window goes the 72 year confidentiality that lizziecat mentioned.

If information that was earlier collected by the census bureau is being confirmed/updated by census bureau employees, how is that a violation of confidentiality? 

ETA: We received all kinds of training about enforcing confidentiality. For example, a number of us encountered disturbing living conditions but we were not allowed to report anything to the authorities. Some things I saw still haunt me.


 

kthnry said:

If information that was earlier collected by the census bureau is being confirmed/updated by census bureau employees, how is that a violation of confidentiality? 

ETA: We received all kinds of training about enforcing confidentiality. For example, a number of us encountered disturbing living conditions but we were not allowed to report anything to the authorities. Some things I saw still haunt me.

Give me a break. The neighborhood census takers are part time employees, practically hired off the street. Anyone in the town can apply. That's like saying its not a confidentiality breach when a credit rating agency hires short term part timers from your town and gives them the credit reports on the houses they visit.

When there is a 72 year rule of confidentiality, which btw has nothing to do with data breaches, and you give out specifics by house from the previous census then you do have a loss of confidentiality.


BG9 said:

Give me a break. The neighborhood census takers are part time employees, practically hired off the street. Anyone in the town can apply. That's like saying its not a confidentiality breach when a credit rating agency hires short term part timers from your town and gives them the credit reports on the houses they visit.

When there is a 72 year rule of confidentiality, which btw has nothing to do with data breaches, and you give out specifics by house from the previous census then you do have a loss of confidentiality.

Are you aware of any leaks of census data ever? Your comparison with credit reports seems far-fetched. I'm having a hard time imagining a nefarious use for the census information I was given access to. I'm sure it's done electronically now with tighter controls than the giant dot-matrix printouts we received.

I guess the alternative is to lock up all data from the previous census and start over from scratch, but that seems inefficient and expensive.


I just don't understand this fear.  The census has never had a data breach, and is hugely beneficial.  Credit agencies, credit cards, stores, have data breaches.   Web sites collect data.  Yet I assume that you still use credit cards, shop at stores, and post online.  And you are not putting too much info on the form anyway.  Far less than you put on a credit application.  The census doesn't care where you bank.


There really isn't much data to breach unless you fill out the long form.

And I just looked it up and apparently there is no long form anymore. (Not since 2010)

So what information are people afraid can be leaked?


EricBurbank said:

Komarovsky said:

FilmCarp said:

BG9 said:

FilmCarp said:

The census folks care deeply about their jobs.  They are professionals.  They will follow the law.  My form came today.

 Of course. I have as much confidence in the Census Bureau as I have in the Barr's Department of Justice, De Vos's Education, Ross's Commerce Department. All is well. 

 Well, it's important for the rest of us that you be counted, but no one can force you.  You'll just end up estimated.

 Or you'll get an enumerator to come to your door and ask you questions in person.  And if they can't get to you, they'll ask your neighbors, which is what I did in 2010 when I worked on the census.  Some of them provided very interesting descriptions of their neighbors!

 Just out of curiosity....did you have info provided to you about the specific addresses you were sent to?  Or were you just told that specific address hadn't filed yet? 

For the initial count we were given specific addresses, and occasionally last name/first initial or first name/last initial, so likely it wasn't included.  We were given 3 days of confidentiality training going over all sort of what you can and can't discuss with others.  That included not disclosing, as kthnry said, some very sad and disturbing conditions that people were living in. 

For the validation operation, which happens after the initial count, we were given much of the information that was initially written down by other enumerators to validate.  That said, when they gave us the information, we were given very strict instructions not to let that binder out of our sight and a hotline to call if we lost it/it got stolen.  Thankfully that didn't occur with my crew, nor with the other crews that worked in my city. 


   


Would people who are concerned about census confidentiality in the hands of temporary (but apparently seriously trained) employees be equally concerned (or even aware) if their papers in an attorney's, doctor's, or accountant's office were handled/viewed by a temp?


mjc said:

Would people who are concerned about census confidentiality in the hands of temporary (but apparently seriously trained) employees be equally concerned (or even aware) if their papers in an attorney's, doctor's, or accountant's office were handled/viewed by a temp?

 This is why no matter how many times I see it on a form I refuse to supply my social security number.  The doctors office already have more than enough of my personal information to bill.  They do NOT need my SS number.

Hell, the office also has more than enough information on me to commit identity theft, but I’m not going to give them the cherry on top by giving them my social security number.  


To be clear, the census does not ask for a social security number.  They want the names, ethnicity, and age of everyone in the house. Nothing more.


they might want to change their commercials....even with an accurate count of the population.....we still won't have 'fair' representation like they claim...we will have politician who only care about themselves and their career....not the little guy or gal......unless they can get their story to go viral and embarrass the alleged rep into doing their job.


Census workers are like any one else....some can be trusted and some will ignore confidentiality training.  I knew a couple people that worked in the medical field.  One would tell me about patients..no names, but really more than she should have.  Another worked in mental health...and started telling me about a client...where she lived, the type of business she ran.....and turns out, I knew who she was.


There really isn't much information to share that isn't already out there.  Every letter that comes to your house has your name and address on it.  The census asks your name, date of birth, and ethnicity. Even if there was a nefarious census worker bent on wreaking havoc, they couldn't do much.  But undercounting seniors will cost us services.  


FilmCarp said:

There really isn't much information to share that isn't already out there.  Every letter that comes to your house has your name and address on it.  The census asks your name, date of birth, and ethnicity. Even if there was a nefarious census worker bent on wreaking havoc, they couldn't do much.  But undercounting seniors will cost us services.  

 My Census mailing was addressed to Resident, not my name and address 

Unless you’re talking about regular mail, then yes, has my name and address.  And thanks to Junk Mail I also get crap addressed to the last ten people who lived here


Yes, that's what I meant.



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