EPIC Files Appeal to Block Census Citizenship Question

February 12, 2019

EPIC has filed an expedited appeal in EPIC v. Commerce to block the Census Bureau from collecting citizenship information in the 2020 Census. EPIC alleged that the Bureau failed to complete privacy impact assessments before adding the citizenship question. A lower court held that the Bureau must "prepare PIAs that adequately address the collection of citizenship data in the 2020 Census" and the Bureau conceded it would complete the assessments by March. But the lower court denied EPIC's motion for a preliminary injunction, concluding that the Census Bureau is not required to conduct a privacy assessment "until the Bureau mails its first batch of Census questionnaires to the public," a view entirely at odds with the E-Government Act. EPIC has filed numerous successful lawsuits to require privacy impact assessments, including EPIC's case that led a now-defunct Presidential Commission to delete state voter data it unlawfully obtained. EPIC's case in the lower court is captioned EPIC v. Commerce, No. 18-2711 (D.D.C.).

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