Privacy Law Concerns Associated With the Reintroduction of the Citizenship Question to the 2020 National Census

Welch, Matthew M.

The proposed reintroduction of the citizenship question to the national census challenges an individual's right to privacy from the government. At issue is the conflict between an individual’s right to privacy regarding personal citizenship data and the government’s need for that information. To that end, this paper will discuss the history of the citizenship question; the potential privacy violations and resulting harms; the legality of reintroducing the citizenship question; and the best solutions to alleviate privacy concerns while still allowing the Census Bureau to compile citizenship data.


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Columbia Journal of Race and Law

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July 10, 2020