Up for Debate: Census 2010

April 20th, 2010 by Kathy McManus

Citizens express privacy concerns over completing the national head-count.

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The Responsibility Project

The Week’s recent roundup of news articles about the 2010 census—the once-a-decade, Constitutionally-mandated national head-count—noted that fears about completing the questionnaire are “on the upswing,” with “holdouts” insisting that “the feds can’t be trusted to keep their answers private.”

Shirking the responsibility to respond to the census because of privacy concerns struck The Week’s editors as a bit misguided. “The average American posts more personal information on their Facebook and MySpace pages than they do on the census form,” the editors argued. “And if you use ‘loyalty cards’ from supermarkets and drugstores, and make purchases on websites, big corporations already know what you like to read and eat and what ailments you have.” In conclusion, they argued, “When the census form arrives, please—just send it in already.”