Security

A watchdog body for the United States The Census Bureau says that sufficient information infrastructure security protections were not in place leading up to the launch of last year’s 2020 census, although some of the results were contested by the statistics body and no data was compromised.

According to the study released last week by the Office of Inspector General, there were a large number of IT threats that remained open until the start of the head count of any U.S. citizen that decides how many congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state receives, as well as the allocation of $1.5 trillion in federal funds each year.

Since they were pointed out by the Office of Inspector General, the Census Bureau was able to fix some of the protection vulnerabilities, and others were corrected just before most U.S. citizens started answering the 2020 census questionnaire in March, the study said.

“The integrity of data from the census is crucial,” said the paper. “The representation in the House of Representatives and the distribution of federal money could be disproportionately distributed if population numbers were manipulated.”

In a letter, the Census Bureau took issue with that assertion, stating that there was no data loss or compromise and that before most households started responding in March, the holes found by the Office of Inspector General were filled.

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The 2020 census was the first one-a-decade count in which respondents were invited to respond to the online questionnaire, although they were still able to respond by mail or call. Around two-thirds of households replied on their own, while the remainder requested visits from census takers for interviews.