US Census Bureau Head Fends Off Critics of 'Differential Privacy' Tool

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The US Census Bureau's chief Robert Santos has openly highlighted the benefits of a tool called 'differential privacy' created to protect participants' data in the statistical agency's questionnaires. This is particularly effective at the smallest geographies, such as census blocks, with critics suggesting that thousands of small jurisdictions throughout the US will not get usable data because of the algorithms applied to the numbers to protect confidentiality. More recently, the statistical agency's watchdog said the Census Bureau had failed to stop simulated cyber-attacks it had conducted as part of a covert operation to test its cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

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