The online ACS survey itself runs on a system called Centurion, a common infrastructure already in use across the Census Bureau for other applications, according to Brian McGrath, Census Bureau CIO and associate director of IT.
An added bonus: the bureau partners with other agencies to allow broader use.
â€œThis is very much a shared program,â€ McGrath said of the common infrastructure, which he
said the Office of Management and Budget requested to be made available to other agencies for collecting data over the internet.
For example, Census
currently is doing surveys for the Bureau of Labor and Statistics
using in-house infrastructure and capabilities, McGrath
â€œIn the long term, they donâ€™t have to build new hardware and develop custom software â€" we use the systems we have in place and then transfer the data back to them for their analysis,â€ he
On the security side, besides adhering to government-wide security standards currently in place, Census
stores the data in an in-house private cloud that has been a year and a half in the making, McGrath
â€œObviously, data security is a high priority for the bureau,â€ he
said. â€œWe retain high-value data assets within the construct of a private cloud.
Everything remains on premise in a government facility under our authority and responsibility so we can insure its integrity.â€
And while the ACS is new to the Internet, census data collection writ large is not.
The ACS will become the 61st bureau survey that allows for online response, and McGrath
said there have not been security issues in the past.