Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ

I am concerned about identity theft. How does the Census Bureau protect my ACS information?

We understand concerns about identity theft and privacy. We will ensure that only authorized persons with a work-related need-to-know view your personal information. When we process the information collected by the American Community Survey (ACS), individuals’ names and other personal identifiers are deleted from the files used to tabulate these data. We do not maintain a national database with the names, addresses, and personal information collected by the ACS.

Additionally, we employ statistical methodologies to ensure that the statistics we release do not identify individuals or businesses. These methods include extensive review and analysis of all our data products, as well as disclosure avoidance methodologies (such as data suppression and modification) to screen out data that might identify a specific individual or business.

Please note that the ACS does not ask for Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden name, or specific information regarding bank accounts or credit cards—the information typically used for identity theft.

If you are reluctant to complete the survey online or by mail, you may call 1-800-354-7271 to complete the survey over the phone.


(FAQ7419)

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