EPIC to Appropriations Committees: Suspend the Census Citizenship Question

April 3, 2019

EPIC has sent a statement to the House and Senate regarding the FY2020 appropriations for the Department of Commerce. EPIC urged Congress to require the Census Bureau to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census, pending the completion of legally required Privacy Impact Assessments. EPIC told the committees that the Census Bureau failed to complete the Privacy Impact Assessments required by Section 208 of the E-Government Act. The Census Bureau concedes that it must complete the impact assessments but has so far failed to do so. "Congress made clear that data collection simply could not occur without the completion of these assessments," EPIC explained to Congress. In EPIC v. Commerce now before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, EPIC argued that the collection of citizenship data without the privacy impact assessments is unlawful. EPIC warned the federal appeals court that, "major privacy risks have not been addressed by the agency."

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