"I don't feel comfortable sharing my information"

July 25, 2019

Dear Reader,

Many of us are very careful with what we do with our private information regarding our DOB, income, household numbers, and the like. Usually, as individuals, we don’t go around asking people that kind of question, so when something like that does happen, I think it could be kind of scary. But, I think we can look at this kind of differently- since it is the government. 

Persons vs government is very different. The government seems to be private, confidential and everything, but as Native and Indigenous people, it is hard to fill out our information to a system that has always been against us.As people in general, it is crazy to put all types of information in one form. We often wonder where our information is going, how it’s being used and the person who is helping us fill out the information. 

All in all, we are all afraid of our information being shared within people or inside the government systems. Census Bureau has a law that all information is confidential and all information cannot be shared outside of the Census. For offices, they have set up noise cancelling rooms, dark (no windows, covered) rooms, and spaces that no one can go into unless they had a badge and everything little that. For the people working under the Census Bureau, they have gone through trainings and know every law that comes with the job. From confidentiality to being respectful of others work, but also know that if anything happens with their clients information, their “freedom” is on the line with a number of years in jail or a fine of $250,000. 

Although I personally cannot promise you that your information is totally fine (because I don’t work for the Census), Census Bureau has set rules and laws in place so that it could go as smoothly as possible. I think they take every precaution they can for themselves and their clients. 

So, you have every right to feel uncomfortable, but you have a civic duty that your state and your community get the funding and the services they need, which Census will somehow help for the next ten years. Whether you get kids of your own, you get grandkids, you’re going to college, trying to buy a home with loans, applying for grants for your organization- that is where you are helping, and that is where you motivation should come from. As human beings, we love to have our privacy. 

All the best,