Modern computers and today’s data-rich world have rendered the Census Bureau’s traditional confidentiality protection methods obsolete. Those legacy methods are no match for hackers aiming to piece together the identities of the people and businesses behind published data.
A powerful new disclosure avoidance system (DAS) designed to withstand modern re-identification threats will protect 2020 Census data products (other than the apportionment data; those state-level totals remain unaltered by statistical noise).
The 2020 DAS is based on a framework for assessing privacy risk known as differential privacy. It is the only solution that can respond to this threat while maximizing the availability and utility of published census data.
We appreciate your engagement and encourage you to email comments and suggestions to 2020DAS@census.gov.