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Minister of Commerce Raymondo advocates the secrecy of the census

Secretary of Commerce Ina Raymondo on Wednesday defended the privacy policy used by the US Census Bureau in 2020. In the census, a method that the agency promised would make only small changes in the actual numbers in the counting of racial-ethnic groups.

A technique called “differential confidentiality” adds mathematical “noise” or errors to the data to obscure the identity of the person while providing statistically sound information.

Bureau officials say the change is necessary so that data miners do not match individuals with confidential details that were anonymous in a mass release of data that was expected back in August. It will be used for geographic information based on race, age and other demographic information in each state.

Speaking at a White House briefing, Raymondo said the method was “justified.”

“It’s a statistical technique that aims to protect people’s privacy … Today there may be privacy secrets that were not technologically possible 10 years ago,” Raimondo said. “So in order for us to go back and protect people’s privacy, we have to use new methods, this is one of those new methods.”

The census bureau says it is still working on the details, but bureau officials have previously described how they try to find the “secret” in data ‘confidentiality’.

Last month, Alabama և Alabama politicians sued the Census Bureau և Department of Commerce, which oversees the statistics agency, claiming the secrecy of the difference would lead to inaccurate data.

On Monday, a group of civil rights groups also raised concerns about the confidentiality of the difference in the report.

Differential privacy can reduce the quality of data used to rewrite congressional legislatures, according to a report by the American Legal Protection Foundation in Mexico, also known as MALDEF, the AAJC of the Asian Progressive Justice in Asia.

The presumption suggests that differentiated secrecy provides data that is less accurate in determining whether a racial or ethnic minority group constituted a majority in a given community, potentially weakening their local political power. It also says that technology can create districts that decide court decisions that require districts to have equal populations.

However, the Census Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday that the method would be slightly smaller than the actual numbers, mostly related to racial or ethnic groups.

According to racial-ethnic groups, the statistical agency aims to be accurate at 5 percentage points, at least 95% of the time, in any geographic area below the state level, according to the Census Bureau.

Raymondo urged government officials to be patient when it is uncertain when their congressional constituencies will be reopened, as the Census Bureau was unable to release redistribution data until March 31 due to delays caused by the epidemic. The bureau says the redistribution data will be published in the old format by August and in the new format by the end of September.

In addition to redistribution, in 2020 The census is used to allocate $ 1.5 trillion a year in federal congressional և vote-sharing և electoral college: federal spending.

“We are lagging behind, but my direction for the team is that we have to get it right,” said Raymondo. “The point is, it’s much better to wait a little longer, to have accurate data that we can all trust; we prefer accuracy rather than to rush it.”


Associated Press writer Alexandra Affen in Washington contributed to this report.


Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP


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