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Policy Statements (U.S. Census Bureau website)

Policy Statements

Privacy Statement

Thank you for visiting the U.S. Census Bureau's Internet web site and reviewing our privacy policy. The purpose of this policy is to explain how we handle information we collect from you during your visit to our web site. It is important to keep in mind that we do not collect personally-identifiable information (name, address, e-mail address, social security number, or other unique identifiers) on our web site unless we specifically advise you that we are doing so.

Privacy Policy for All Visitors

Information Collected and Stored Automatically: When you visit our web site to read pages or download information, we automatically collect and store the following non-identifying information:

- The Internet protocol (IP) address from which you access our web site. An IP address is a unique number that is automatically assigned to the computer you are using whenever you are surfing the web.
- The type of browser, such as Netscape or Internet Explorer, and operating system, such as Windows 98 or Linux, used to access our site.
- The date and time our site is accessed, for the purpose of monitoring demand.
- The pages visited, for the purpose of improving the usefulness of our web site by providing helpful links and removing pages that are not read.
- The last site you visited, if that site contained a link to a Census Bureau web page, which indicates how you found this site.

This information does not identify you personally. We maintain the above information in system logs. We use this information to make our site more useful to visitors by learning the number of visitors to our site, the number of pages served, and the level of demand for specific pages. We do not track or record information about identifiable individuals and their visits.

We generally do not use cookies, which are files or file entries placed on your computer's hard drive by a web site, that allow monitoring of your use of the site. Some activities, such as using the American FactFinder, do require the use of transient cookies. In American FactFinder, transient cookies are used to keep track of user selections so that new requests for specific data or maps can be created more efficiently. No personally identifiable information is permanently retained on either the user's or the Census Bureau's computers. These transient cookies go away completely when you exit the browser.

Information Collected from E-mail: When you send us personally-identifying information in an e-mail, we use the information you provide only to help us gather the information you might request. In an effort to respond to your request, information you submit may be viewed by various people within the Census Bureau. Public notices issued by the Bureau in which interested persons are invited to comment by e-mail will contain a notice of what we intend to do with the data gathered. Once received, the information in your e-mail is protected in accordance with law (e.g., the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act).

Security, Intrusion, and Detection: For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage.

An e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. Whether or not an e-mail is encrypted in transmission depends on your software.

Links to Other Web Sites: Our web site contains links to other federal agencies, international agencies, and private organizations. Once you link to another site you are subject to the policies of the new site.

Privacy Policy for Purchasers of Census Bureau Products

The following additional policies apply to purchasers of Census Bureau products.

To order products, you will have to provide us with personally-identifiable information to support the purchase. The information you provide may be entered into a database maintained to service our customers. While personally-identifiable information you provide is protected by law, we may be required by law to disclose the names and addresses of businesses that purchase our products.

If you are providing a credit card number, link to our catalog page to learn about our credit card security policy. Any page describing a product for sale by e-commerce will include a "Buy" box at the bottom. Clicking on the box will take you to a page linking to our credit card security statement.

Transient cookies are enabled to track your order through the process.

Privacy Policy for Respondents to Surveys and Censuses

Some Census Bureau surveys and censuses permit response over the Internet. The following additional policies apply to personally-identifiable information provided in response to a Census Bureau survey or census.

To respond to a survey or census via the Internet, you will have to provide us personally-identifiable information. For each survey and census, we provide an explanation to respondents about the confidentiality of the data and the laws that protect that data (e.g., Title 13, United States Code Section 9 (a)).

To protect your privacy, in the remote chance that your survey or census responses are intercepted, all web data submissions are encrypted.

Questions concerning this policy may be addressed to: webmaster@census.gov, attn: Policy Office.


Document Accessibility

The Census Bureau is committed to making every document on its internet server accessible to all. Currently, we are reviewing our site and making modifications to those pages which are not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Acts. We use Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to create pages that are generally accessible to persons using screen reading devices, and we are careful in our construction of HTML documents to insure maximum accessibility. We will include alternate text describing graphics.

Many Census Bureau internet documents are in ASCII or HTML formats. These documents are accessible to persons using screen reading software. We also have a large number of documents in Adobe Acrobat PDF (Portable Document Format) files. Currently, many people using screen reading devices cannot read documents in PDF format.

Adobe Systems, Inc., is producing various products designed to make Adobe Acrobat documents accessible to persons using screen reading software. Their accessibility web pages describe their efforts. They also have a free downloadable accessibility plug-in, called Adobe Access, for use with the latest versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader for Microsoft Windows 3.1, Windows 95, or Windows NT. This plug-in, which is still in a beta version, helps to overcome some of the problems of reading PDF documents with screen readers. While these tools are in development, we are committed to providing ASCII or HTML versions of these PDF files.

Comments on our accessibility policies are invited, and should be sent to: James.R.Clark@ccMail.Census.GOV.

Links to Third Party Sites

For the benefit of our visitors, the US Census Bureau Web site contains links to third party sites not operated by the US Census Bureau. Such sites are not within the control of the US Census Bureau and may not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility policies as the US Census Bureau Web site. The US Census Bureau is not responsible for the content or availability of those sites, their partners, or advertisers.


Census Bureau Statement on Statistical Quality

NOTE TO ALL DATA USERS:

All survey and census results contain measurement error and may contain sampling error.

Available information about these potential errors is provided or referenced in data products as they are presented.

The Census Bureau recommends that data users incorporate this information into their analyses as these errors could impact inferences.

Researchers analyzing the data to create their own estimates are responsible for their validity and should not cite the Bureau of the Census as the source of the estimates but only of the core data.


Confidentiality

Protection of Confidential Information -- Sections 9 and 214 of Title 13

Sec. 9. Information as confidential; exception

(a) Neither the Secretary, nor any other officer or employee of the Department of Commerce or bureau or agency thereof, or local government census liaison may, except as provided in section 8 or 16 or chapter 10 of this title or section 210 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998.(1)

(1) use the information furnished under the provisions of this title for any purpose other than the statistical purposes for which it is supplied; or

(2) make any publication whereby the data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this title can be identified; or

(3) permit anyone other than the sworn officers and employees of the Department or bureau or agency thereof to examine the individual reports. No department, bureau, agency, officer, or employee of the Government, except the Secretary in carrying out the purposes of this title, shall require, for any reason, copies of census reports which have been retained by any such establishment or individual. Copies of census reports which have been so retained shall be immune from legal process, and shall not, without the consent of the individual or establishment concerned, be admitted as evidence or used for any purpose in any action, suit, or other judicial or administrative proceeding.

(b) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section relating to the confidential treatment of data for particular individuals and establishments, shall not apply to the censuses of governments provided for by subchapter III of chapter 5 of this title, nor to interim current data provided for by subchapter IV of chapter 5 of this title as to the subjects covered by censuses of governments, with respect to any information obtained therefor that is compiled from, or customarily provided in, public records.

Sec. 214. Wrongful disclosure of information

Whoever, being or having been an employee or staff member referred to in subchapter II of chapter 1 of this title, having taken and subscribed the oath of office, or having sworn to observe the limitations imposed by section 9 of this title, or whoever, being or having been a census liaison within the meaning of section 16(2) of this title, publishes or communicates any information, the disclosure of which is prohibited under the provisions of section 9 of this title, and which comes into his possession by reason of his being employed (or otherwise providing services) under the provisions of this title, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

1. The Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994, P.L. 103-430 amends section 9(a) by inserting "or local government census liaison" and adding references to section 16. P.L. 105-119, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998, adds the reference to section 210.

2. The Census Address List Improvement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-430) amends section 214 making references to section 16 and "census liaisons."


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