U.S. census employees will trade paper forms for 500,000 iPhone 8 handsets this year

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2020
It's a census year in the U.S., which means that hundreds of thousands of enumerators will soon be going door-to-door. But instead of a pen and clipboard this year, they may be equipped with a familiar device.

U.S. Census Bureau employees will use iPhone 8 devices in place of paper and pen for the 2020 census.
U.S. Census Bureau employees will use iPhone 8 devices in place of paper and pen for the 2020 census.


The U.S. Census occurs every 10 years, but 2020 marks an important milestone for the centuries-old event. It's the first time that all U.S. households will be able to respond to the census online. And thanks to a multimillion-dollar project, in-person census-takers will swap their paper forms for iPhone 8s.

For the 2020 census, the U.S. government has contracted with Illinois-based firm CDW-G to lease 500,000 iPhone 8 models for census employees, known as enumerators, who go door-to-door to take count.

"We are proud that the US Census Bureau will use the iPhone for the collection and management of 2020 census data," an Apple spokesperson told CNET.

While officials estimate that around 60% of people will respond to census questionnaires online, on the phone or via mail, it's up to enumerators to count the rest of the country. According to the official 2020 census schedule, nearly 500,000 temporary employees will fan out across the country between May and August.

As for why the bureau chose iPhone 8, CNET says it was a combination of familiarity, stability and security that drew census officials to Apple's mobile operating system. The specific models used by census-takers this year won't be customized in any way. Instead, they'll simply be running a specialized app that canvassers will use to count people.

Originally, CDW-G proposed the iPhone 6 as the primary census-taking device in 2020. But once the iPhone 8 launched in 2017, it realized that it could upgrade to the newer model without a bump in price.

When the door-to-door phase the census wraps up around August, the Census Bureau will ship the 500,000 Apple smartphones back to CDW-G. From there, the contractor will wipe the devices and reuse them for other enterprise initiatives.

This isn't the first time that the U.S. Census Bureau tried to push the constitutional event into the modern era. In fact, efforts to give enumerators digital devices stretch back to the 2010 census. In 2006, the bureau contracted with defense company Harris Corporation to provide 600,000 custom HTC PDAs to census-takers. That project was abandoned in 2008, before the actual census took place.

"The census is an important constitutional cornerstone that aims to ensure every one of us has equal representation, education and access in America," Apple said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,848member
    Croikie!!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.
    edited April 2020 Beatslkrupp
  • Reply 3 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 887member
    That'll be a nice iPhone unit sales bump for Apple. Even at what I assume is a very low bulk rate of $300 per unit for the smallest display size and storage capacity that's $150 million in revenue.
    edited April 2020 Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 887member
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.
    Unfortunately it sounds extremely American to me.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/31/trump-administration-revokes-mashpee-wampanoag-tribe-reservation-status
    GeorgeBMacjbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 33
    I was a census enumerator in 2010 and an iPhone would of come in handy! It was amazing how many people born in this country had never heard of the US Census before. It was kind of a cool job, you had to play the part of a detective due to certain people lying and just being downright uncooperative. Some people even threatened us, there’s no need for that type of behavior. Thanks to the Census I now know where the majority of the assholes in my town and surrounding towns live. 
    BeatsjbdragonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Oh darn, they're just leasing those iPhones. Maybe they'll offer them really cheap in the Apple refurbished store when they're returned. Nah... this is Apple we're talking about. As for the census, I received my form in the mail, filled it out in a couple of minutes and then mailed it in. There wasn't much to it and certainly no need to lie about any of the questions. I'm not sure why some people make a big deal out of it.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 33
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 553member
    Oh darn, they're just leasing those iPhones. Maybe they'll offer them really cheap in the Apple refurbished store when they're returned. Nah... this is Apple we're talking about. As for the census, I received my form in the mail, filled it out in a couple of minutes and then mailed it in. There wasn't much to it and certainly no need to lie about any of the questions. I'm not sure why some people make a big deal out of it.
    The Census is just leasing them, the company that’s leasing them to the census will have bought them from Apple. Much like aircraft leasing agencies buy airliners from Boeing and Airbus and lease them to client airlines. 

    “ For the 2020 census, the U.S. government has contracted with Illinois-based firm CDW-G to lease 500,000 iPhone 8 models for census employees, known as enumerators, who go door-to-door to take count.”

    then:
     When the door-to-door phase the census wraps up around August, the Census Bureau will ship the 500,000 Apple smartphones back to CDW-G. From there, the contractor will wipe the devices and reuse them for other enterprise initiatives.”
    edited April 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,350moderator
    Train those census workers to swab people’s noses.  Kill two birds with one stone.  
    GeorgeBMacStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,441member
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.

    True!
    It seems that race & heritage was their primary concern.   That's scary!

    For all the hoopla and expense going into this, that they aren't asking important questions is, well,  just f'n sad.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,116member
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Mass death event? Tell me, how many Americans have died in the past three months from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents? Why have we, as a society, accepted those deaths as completely normal?

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    2,813,503 Americans died in 2018 according to the CDC. We didn't suffer an economic collapse, we didn’t lose our jobs and income. The only difference here is that Covid-19 is killing people fast but the panic and ‘grim’ statistics published by the media every single day is pushing us to kill the country. You repeat ‘wild range of estimates’ as if they are the gospel truth. They are guesses by ‘experts’ who really don’t understand what’s going on yet. One ‘guess’ that has been persistent and verified by the data is that you have an 80% chance of surviving the virus if you are in good health. 

    ‘Mass death event’?. An asteroid taking out the eastern seaboard, now THAT would be a mass death event.


    edited April 2020
  • Reply 12 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,890member
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.

    It seems that race & heritage was their primary concern.   That's scary!
    It's the same questions they've asked for several decades. Now it's scary?
    https://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1990.shtml

    Heck even answering the same questions every other generation answers is suddenly something nefarious. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 33
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,244member
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Should we have Elections in November?

    I don't see an issue doing this.  I did mine online and so they shouldn't be stopping at my house.  It was easy enough to fill out.  It's done every 10 years.  So if you don't want them to come to your place, fill out the form Online!!!

    Still, these people can talk to you from 6 feet or so away to ask questions.  If people are delivering food, this is even safer.  It's a job that needs to be done.  Answer truthfully, either online or in person.  
  • Reply 14 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 887member
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Deaths are accounted for and easily subtracted from the census totals. If we waited until we had a year without deaths we'd never have a census.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 887member
    jbdragon said:
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Should we have Elections in November?

    I don't see an issue doing this.  I did mine online and so they shouldn't be stopping at my house.  It was easy enough to fill out.  It's done every 10 years.  So if you don't want them to come to your place, fill out the form Online!!!

    Still, these people can talk to you from 6 feet or so away to ask questions.  If people are delivering food, this is even safer.  It's a job that needs to be done.  Answer truthfully, either online or in person.  
    Elections in November won't be affected by what's going on right now. What could affect the upcoming election is an Autumn resurgence of the virus. If it does comes back like the Spanish Flu came back then I can see it being postponed, and I'd be fine with that even though I'd prefer that the current administration be removed as quickly as possible for reasons that should've been clear well before they failed the nation on this current health issue. But I digress. I think we have enough knowledge and communication that it's unlikely for this to have a resurgence like the Spanish Flu.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,441member
    lkrupp said:
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Mass death event? Tell me, how many Americans have died in the past three months from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents? Why have we, as a society, accepted those deaths as completely normal?

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    2,813,503 Americans died in 2018 according to the CDC. We didn't suffer an economic collapse, we didn’t lose our jobs and income. The only difference here is that Covid-19 is killing people fast but the panic and ‘grim’ statistics published by the media every single day is pushing us to kill the country. You repeat ‘wild range of estimates’ as if they are the gospel truth. They are guesses by ‘experts’ who really don’t understand what’s going on yet. One ‘guess’ that has been persistent and verified by the data is that you have an 80% chance of surviving the virus if you are in good health. 

    ‘Mass death event’?. An asteroid taking out the eastern seaboard, now THAT would be a mass death event.



    Not even Trump is spouting that nonsense anymore.  Try to keep up.
    StrangeDayscrowley
  • Reply 17 of 33
    XedXed Posts: 887member
    lkrupp said:
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Mass death event? Tell me, how many Americans have died in the past three months from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents? Why have we, as a society, accepted those deaths as completely normal?
    What's sad is that a lot more deaths have occurred and will occur "from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents" because people aren't taking things serious and don't think that flattening the curve is important. We are seeing EMTs leaving people behind instead of taking them to hospitals because they're overrun. We are hearing talk of mass graves needing to be built by inmates from riders island and using refrigerated semi trailers at hospitals to store all the extra dead bodies. Again, not all of them are from the virus and there will be many that will have perished from "from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents" because too many ignorant, lazy, and callous people didn't care about helping to reduce the strain on health care workers.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,297member
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.
    Let me guess, as a white male you feel they’re trying to get you? You’re being persecuted maybe? Yeah no. Demographic stats are just useful to have and know. 
  • Reply 19 of 33
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,297member

    lkrupp said:
    I know it’s mandated by our Constitution, but what sense does it make to take a Census in the middle of a potential mass death event like COVID-19? The wild range of estimates US fatalities ranges from thousands to potentially several million.
    Mass death event? Tell me, how many Americans have died in the past three months from the flu, heart attacks, drug overdoses, murder, cancer, automobile accidents? Why have we, as a society, accepted those deaths as completely normal?

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    2,813,503 Americans died in 2018 according to the CDC. We didn't suffer an economic collapse, we didn’t lose our jobs and income. The only difference here is that Covid-19 is killing people fast but the panic and ‘grim’ statistics published by the media every single day is pushing us to kill the country. You repeat ‘wild range of estimates’ as if they are the gospel truth. They are guesses by ‘experts’ who really don’t understand what’s going on yet. One ‘guess’ that has been persistent and verified by the data is that you have an 80% chance of surviving the virus if you are in good health. 

    ‘Mass death event’?. An asteroid taking out the eastern seaboard, now THAT would be a mass death event.
    Ignorance. Car accidents aren’t highly contagious and even the flu isn’t nearly as contagious or deadly. The problem with a novel pandemic of this sort is the mass deaths that will occur without safety measures. The math is simple and easy to understand. If no actions were taken, millions would die. Thus, the entire world has decided to take action, even the science-denier parties across the world. Trump, Fox News, GOP governors, everybody. The math doesn’t lie. 

    And yes, we absolutely do understand what’s going on with the mortality rates, across age brackets. And yes, 80% are mild. It’s the minority death rate that results in millions dead, which has economic damage. 

    You simply don’t get it, sorry. Stay in your lane.

    Or, run the numbers:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

    Doing nothing:

    https://youtu.be/gku7mdTS8cc




    edited April 2020
  • Reply 20 of 33
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 9,441member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    I filled mine out online.  

    Stupid questions as usual.  Asking skin color and ancestry is anti-American.  Makes me want to send them a picture of my white butt cheeks, and let them make a determination.

    All they really need is population numbers... (& ages)

    Asking if I was fluent in English would have (actually) been useful, but they didn’t ask that.

    It seems that race & heritage was their primary concern.   That's scary!
    It's the same questions they've asked for several decades. Now it's scary?
    https://usa.ipums.org/usa/voliii/items1990.shtml

    Heck even answering the same questions every other generation answers is suddenly something nefarious. 

    Under this nefarious administration?   Yes!
    For a moment I had silly hope about you. Apparently your hate is too strong to allow any "oh, I didn't know that" to slip thru. Back to ignoring I guess. 

    Hate?  LOL...  That's the cover Trumpers use to cover for his lies, incompetence and corruption when knowledgeable people object to it.
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