Assuage Privacy Concerns to Boost Census Awareness

October 28, 2019

Just like data protection is crucial to your real estate business, so it is also for the deployment of the 2020 Unites States census.

That’s a key piece of information you can share with your clients, as the National Association of REALTORS® turns to its nearly 1.4 million members to help raise awareness about the upcoming census and ensure a robust response. It’s important for every U.S. citizen to complete the census, which will determine the allotment of congressional seats for each state and critical funding for communities across the country.

Although the logistical challenges of processing the once-a-decade census are immense, federal law protects the information detailed in your responses from being exposed, and it is against the law for any U.S. Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any data that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private.

When you and your clients respond to the American Community Survey—which you will receive via phone, mail, or online—be assured that the Census Bureau will never ask for Social Security numbers, bank or credit card account numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. The Census Bureau is currently working to hire enumerators to help complete this process “because the bureau expects fewer than seven in 10 household members to self-respond to the census online, by mail, or over the phone,” NPR reports.

The Census Bureau has prepared multiple resources online to help those with influence in their communities, such as real estate professionals, publicly speak to the value of the census. By sharing these resources on your personal platforms and social media channels, you can become a leader on an issue that could have a drastic, positive impact on your community.

With the 2020 census scheduled to hit mailboxes in just five months, NAR is also encouraging its members and their clients to complete all forms quickly and accurately. REALTOR® participation will help secure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments while catalyzing infrastructure improvements that will support new homes and businesses, NAR says.

Next year, for the first time ever, the Census Bureau will accept responses over the internet, although the option to respond by phone or mail will still exist. The move online is expected to encourage more Americans to complete the census while saving money for the government.

Notices about the 2020 census will be mailed in mid-March. In May, the Census Bureau will begin following up in person with households that haven’t responded. For more information about the upcoming census, visit 2020census.gov.