EPIC Investigates the Transfer of Personal Data from DHS to Census Bureau
March 8, 2019
EPIC has submitted urgent Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS and the Office of Immigration Statistics) and the Census Bureau for records about the planned transfer of personal data from DHS to the Census Bureau. After a federal judge in California ruled that adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census was unconstitutional, the AP reported that DHS would disclose to the Census Bureau personal data, including names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and alien registration numbers. The Census Bureau confirmed that the agency was preparing an agreement with DHS to “receive administrative records.” In EPIC v. Commerce, EPIC alleges that the Bureau failed to conduct and publish required privacy impact assessments before making an uninformed decision to collect citizenship data. EPIC is seeking an injunction from the D.C. Circuit, which will hear arguments in the case in May. EPIC's appeal is EPIC v. Commerce, No. 19-5031 (D.C. Cir.).