In Depth Pedestrians

Published on March 19th, 2017 | by Daniel Castro


Politicizing Census Puts Crucial Data at Risk

One of the U.S. government’s most important tasks is conducting the decennial Census in which it attempts to count every person in the United States. This is a monumental undertaking: In 2010, U.S. Census Bureau workers sent out questionnaires to 120 million households by mail, hand-delivered 12 million questionnaires in rural locations or those affected by natural disasters, and went door-to-door to nearly 47 million households that did not send back their responses. All told, the last Census was the largest mobilization of a civilian workforce by the federal government in history and cost approximately $13 billion. With so much at stake, it is important to get this right. Unfortunately, a draft executive order, if enacted, would politicize the 2020 census, thereby jeopardizing the integrity of its results and driving up costs for taxpayers. The draft executive order would direct the Census Bureau to include questions about immigration status in the decennial census, an idea that Republican members of Congress previously proposed before the 2010 Census.

Read the full article in The Hill

Image: Oran Viriyincy.

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About the Author

Daniel Castro is the director of the Center for Data Innovation and vice president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. Mr. Castro writes and speaks on a variety of issues related to information technology and internet policy, including data, privacy, security, intellectual property, internet governance, e-government, and accessibility for people with disabilities. His work has been quoted and cited in numerous media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, USA Today, Bloomberg News, and Businessweek. In 2013, Mr. Castro was named to FedScoop’s list of “Top 25 most influential people under 40 in government and tech.” In 2015, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Mr. Castro to the Commerce Data Advisory Council.Mr. Castro previously worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He contributed to GAO reports on the state of information security at a variety of federal agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In addition, Mr. Castro was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he developed virtual training simulations to provide clients with hands-on training of the latest information security tools. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

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