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No Matter Who You Are, Personal Information is Safe and Confidential

When it Comes to the Census

March 4, 2010 (HOUSTON) – With U.S. Census questionnaires set to begin arriving in mailboxes in just two weeks, Harris County is taking strides to protect its residents’ privacy and ensure they know exactly what to expect as the 2010 Census gets fully under way.

“We must make certain that our residents feel comfortable completing their Census questionnaires so we can ensure an accurate count, which will in turn enable Harris County to receive the funding and political representation it deserves,” said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. “As the third-largest county in the nation, our communities stand to gain billions in federal dollars for transportation, infrastructure, health care, essential social services and more—but a complete count is necessary.”

Census forms will be mailed out on March 16th and are due to be mailed back by April 15th. Harris County residents should not expect to have a Census worker knock on their door unless they do not fill out and return their questionnaire by the stated deadline. Census Bureau representatives will take to the streets after April 15th to ensure Harris County and cities across the country will participate.

To better protect their personal information from con artists and potential scams, residents should keep in mind the following:

· When the 2010 Census takes place, residents will receive a letter from the Census Bureau director notifying them that their household will soon receive a form in the mail, a phone call from the Census Bureau, or a visit from a Census Bureau representative.

· The Census Bureau will never ask for Social Security numbers or other sensitive financial information, including bank account numbers.

· The Census Bureau will never contact you via email, and questionnaires may not be completed online.

· Census employees will carry an official identification badge with an expiration date and a Department of Commerce watermark.

· Census takers are trained to conduct business outside the door, so residents should be cautious of people who insist on entering their households.

Confidentiality and trust are of utmost importance to the U.S. Census Bureau, so residents should stand assured that information they submit will be protected. The Census gathers information to produce statistics, minus any identifying characteristics, and responses will not be shared with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement. Additionally, all Census Bureau employees take the oath of nondisclosure and are sworn for life to protect the confidentiality of the data.

For more information about Harris County’s 2010 Census campaign visit

About Harris County’s 2010 Census

Harris County stands to lose critical funding and political representation for every person that is not counted in the 2010 Census. Help us ensure that we reach every person in Harris County and encourage them to submit a questionnaire. There truly is Power in Numbers!