Demographers asked the U.S. Census Bureau to cease using differential privacy algorithms to protect participants’ confidentiality, the Associated Press reports. In a letter to Census Bureau Director Robert Santos, demographers requested the agency halt future plans for using the algorithms for annual population estimates and American Community Survey data sets. Differential privacy algorithms “are inappropriate for (these) critically important data sets, which are fundamental to American democracy and to equity in redistricting, fund allocation and planning for government services of all kind(s),” the letter stated. The 2020 census marked the first time differential privacy algorithms were used.
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