JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At News4Jax, we work daily to dispel disinformation that spreads over the internet.
Whether it’s debunking dubious reports about the novel coronavirus or clarifying issues involving people’s personal information, this is something we take seriously.
Since April 1 is Census Day, we’re taking up a question we’ve received time and time again: how can you be sure the information you provide stays confidential?
Depending on your familiarity with the Census, here’s a claim you may have heard: the U.S. Census cannot share any individual’s information under any circumstance.
To verify that claim, we went straight to the source. Marilyn Stephens, who works for the U.S. Census Bureau, said personal details provided to the Census are protected by law.
“We don’t say that it’s a policy, we say it’s the law,” Stephens told News4Jax.
Stephens said the main law in play is Title XIII, which states that the bureau can only release information in a statistical tabulation form. That means it cannot be shared in a way that could identify someone.
“There are 20 million people in the state of Florida and these are age breakdowns and racial breakdowns,” she said. “We cannot say that Marilyn Stephens lives in Florida or Georgia. Nothing that can tie back to an individual can be released.”
On the Trust Index, we are going to rate the Census claim as “It’s True” — under no circumstance can the Census Bureau share your personal details with anyone else.
We’ve reviewed information surrounding this topic and confirmed that It’s True.