Big Brother watching: Data Collection and what you can do about it
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The Constitution authorized a census to provide representation in Congress (House of Representatives) proportional to the population: Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution provided for a decennial census to count American citizens for the purpose of equal representation.
Today the reach of the census goes way beyond enumeration for representation, and the 4th amendment (which guarantees that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches shall not be violated) is being eroded by other Congressionally-approved purposes for the census, such as data collection through the American Community Survey and the American Housing Survey.
The American Community Survey (ACS) - http://www.census.gov/acs/
The ACS website states they contact households at randomly selected addresses. Those selected MUST COMPLY under Federal law: “Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 & 193, as changed by Title 18” imposes a penalty for not responding to the ACS." The ACS inventories possessions such as home, automobiles, computers, even the specific internet service provider. Information on health, education, and personal finances is also demanded. The ACS states that it verifies information provided with information available to other agencies.
The American Housing Survey (AHS) -https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ahs.html
After mandatory compliance with the ACS, the census bureau re-contacts a sampling of individuals for an "interview" (unscheduled home inspection) called the American Housing Survey (AHS) to gather data for HUD (department of Housing and Urban Development). Although participation in the AHS is voluntary, the census workers can be aggressive, intimidating, and relentless to the point of harassment. Households may be subject to dozens of phone calls and unwanted in-person visits by representatives attempting to enter the residence for an in-person interview. The AHS census workers trespass on private property, take photos, and write notes. This infringes on the 4th Amendment “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches."
Data Elements collected
I could list the data elements here, but these may also be found at the Survey websites.
The data elements could be discussion for future posts.
Today I want to move swiftly to what We The People can do to help curb data collection.
What each person can do to help curb Government data collection
1) Read the Federal Register.
HR181 of the 116th Congress would remove the penalty, thereby making participation in the ACS optional, no longer mandatory: Read about HR181 - dubbed the AMERICA Act - at this link -
"Introduced in House (01/03/2019)
Authorizing Moderated Enumeration Responses Including Citizenship Acquisition Act or the AMERICA Act
This bill restricts application of the penalty on individuals who refuse or neglect to answer a decennial census question.
The penalty shall apply only to individuals who do not answer a question included on the short form regarding household size or citizenship status."
2) Contact your Representative in the House to raise awareness, and urge support for HR181 of the 116th Congress - The AMERICA Act.
Find your Representative: https://www.house.gov/represen....tative...representat
Please support HR181 of the 116th Congress - the AMERICA Act - which removes penalties for not answering the American Community Survey (ACS),
thereby making the ACS optional, not mandatory. Thank you for your time.
3) Share this information with other people.
Is this a non-partisan issue..? Or a bi-partisan issue?
Data collection can certainly affect everyone.
There have been past efforts to limit the data collection, including HR1078 of the 113th Congress (https://www.govtrack.us/congre....ss/bills/113/hr1078) but unfortunately that died in committee.