In 1943, Census released Japanese Americans' individual data





The Census Bureau turned over confidential information, including names and addresses, to help the U.S. government identify individual Japanese Americans during World War II, according to government documents released by two scholars Friday...

In 2000, the Census Bureau acknowledged and apologized for its role in sharing aggregate data with the U.S. military to help relocate Japanese Americans from the West Coast to inland camps after Japan's 1941 Pearl Harbor attack.

But Friday's disclosure represented the first confirmation that the bureau also shared information about individuals...

The disclosures were legal under wartime legislation. But they were arguably unethical and could affect public trust in the bureau's confidentiality pledges as it prepares to launch its 2010 census, according to the scholars, William Seltzer of Fordham University and Margo Anderson of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The pair presented their findings at a New York population conference...

Census Bureau spokeswoman Christa Jones stressed that the wartime actions were legal and that privacy protections are far stronger today. "It's our commitment to protect the confidentiality in everything we do," she said.


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