Harvard researchers recommend US census not use privacy tool

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“A group of Harvard researchers has come out against the U.S. Census Bureau’s use of a controversial method to protect privacy with the numbers used for redrawing congressional and legislative districts, saying it doesn’t produce data good enough for redistricting. … The technique also doesn’t universally protect the privacy of people who participated in the 2020 census, they said. The privacy method adds ‘noise,’ or intentional errors, to the data to obscure the identity of any given participant in the 2020 census while still providing statistically valid information. Rather than use this technique, known as ‘differential privacy,’ the researchers said the Census Bureau should rely on a privacy method used in the 2010 census, when data in some households were swapped with other households.” (06/02/21)