Researchers ask Census to stop controversial privacy method

Prominent demographers are asking the U.S. Census Bureau to abandon a controversial method for protecting survey and census participants’ confidentiality, saying it is jeopardizing the usability of numbers that are the foundation of the nation’s data infrastructure.

The Census Bureau embraced using differential privacy algorithms for the first time with the release last year of the first round of 2020 census data. Those numbers were used for determining how many congressional seats each state gets, as well as redrawing political districts in a once-a-decade process known as redistricting.

The demographers and other researchers ask in a letter to Census Bureau Director Robert

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