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Penn State Researchers Evaluate 2020 Census Data Privacy Changes


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Filling out a census form.

The U.S. Census Bureau has proposed using differential privacy to protect the identities of individuals when publishing public data.

Credit: Tada Images/stock.adobe.com

The U.S. Census Bureau has proposed using differential privacy as a new method to protect the identities of individuals when publishing public data.

A Penn State University-led research team found that when differential privacy was used on census data, it produced dramatic changes in population counts for racial and ethnic minorities compared to traditional methods.

The researchers focused on mortality rate estimates because they are an essential population-level metric for which data is collected and disseminated at the national level; mortality rates also are a critical indicator of population health.

The team examined changes in mortality rates resulting from two disclosure avoidance systems by metropolitan classifications.

Said Penn State researcher Alexis Santos, "We discovered that by using differential privacy, there were both instances of under- and over-counting of the population."

From Penn State News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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