Can a Set of Equations Keep U.S. Census Data Private?

Can a Set of Equations Keep U.S. Census Data Private?
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

The U.S. Census Bureau is making waves among social scientists with what it calls a “sea change” in how it plans to safeguard the confidentiality of data it releases from the decennial census.

The agency announced in September 2018 that it will apply a mathematical concept called differential privacy to its release of 2020 census data after conducting experiments that suggest current approaches can't assure confidentiality.

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