New Report on Differential Privacy in the 2020 Census and the Implications for Children

Dr. Bill O’Hare recently prepared a report highlighting the Implications of Differential Privacy for Reported Data on Children in the 2020 U.S. Census.

The Census Bureau plans to implement a new methodology in processing the 2020 Census data to help protect the privacy of respondents. The new method is called differential privacy.  The use of differential privacy could introduce large errors for data on young children in some geographic units and these errors may have significant implications.  For example, the amount of state and federal funds allotted to some school districts may be reduced by as much as 10 percent.  The errors introduced by differential privacy may also have implications for how child advocates use the 2020 Census data for research and report writing.

The final decision by the Census Bureau on the use of differential privacy is expected to occur in December or January. The Census Bureau is asking for comments from data users to be sent to

You can read Dr. Bill O’Hare’s full report here.

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