Local News


CONTACT 13: Locals concerned by questions in government survey

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jan 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-13 22:43:13-05
Some locals are bothered by some mail they received from a government agency. So they're reaching out to Contact 13 with questions about what some call an invasion of their privacy.
This is called the American Community Survey. And it comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. It recently showed up in the mail for some valley residents. 
The agency tells Contact 13 they send this survey out year-around. And the bureau confirms it randomly chooses thousands of addresses from across the country every month.
But some locals are wondering why the government survey is asking such invasive questions. The truth is, it does ask for some very personal information. Questions like, when do you leave home to go to work? The bureau says they're interested in commuting patterns. And the information is used to design programs that ease traffic problems.
Another question that might seem strange, how often do you flush your toilet? The bureau says plumbing information is used by public health officials. Ultimately it helps in the fight against waterborne disease.
While these questions may seem invasive, they're important. The U.S. Census Bureau reminds anyone who gets this survey, they need as many details as possible. And just like jury duty, the bureau says you have an obligation to respond to the survey. 
Click here if you want to know why the survey is asking for certain information.