For those interested in learning more about differential privacy the Association of Public
Data users is a webinar on November 18 on “How Will New Census Bureau Privacy Measures
Change 2020 Decennial Census Data”. You can learn more at:
The webinar is free to members of APDU, C2ER and LMI.
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From: ctpp-news <ctpp-news-bounces(a)chrispy.net> On Behalf Of Krishnan Viswanathan
Sent: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 2:23 PM
Subject: Re: [CTPP] 2010 Demonstration Data Products
Related to Ed's email below, here is a primer on differential privacy that I found
helpful and you might too.
Here is the abstract:
In early 2021, the US Census Bureau will begin releasing statistical tables based on the
decennial census conducted in 2020. Because of significant changes in the data landscape,
the Census Bureau is changing its approach to disclosure avoidance. The confidentiality of
individuals represented “anonymously” in these statistical tables will be protected by a
“formal privacy” technique that allows the Bureau to mathematically assess the risk of
revealing information about individuals in the released statistical tables. The Bureau’s
approach is an implementation of “differential privacy,” and it gives a rigorously
demonstrated guaranteed level of privacy protection that traditional methods of disclosure
avoidance do not. Given the importance of the Census Bureau’s statistical tables to
democracy, resource allocation, justice, and research, confusion about what differential
privacy is and how it might alter or eliminate data products has rippled through the
community of its data users, namely: demographers, statisticians, and census advocates.
The purpose of this primer is to provide context to the Census Bureau’s decision to use a
technique based on differential privacy and to help data users and other census advocates
who are struggling to understand what this mathematical tool is, why it matters, and how
it will affect the Bureau’s data products.
On Wed, Oct 30, 2019 at 10:54 AM Ed Christopher
This may be of interest to some:
Yesterday the Census Bureau released the 2010 Demonstration Data Products to help data
users understand how differential privacy may or may not impact data products they are
used to receiving. The products include the 2010 Demonstration Public Law 94-171 (P.L.
94-171) Redistricting Data Summary File and the Demographic and Housing Demonstration
File, which is similar to Summary File 1.
Documentation and resources related to these products are available on the Census Bureau’s
The Census Bureau is working on an FAQ document to provide additional information about
these data. You can also direct questions to the Census Bureau via email:
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