issues with differential privacy

Just wanted to bring this up with the group --

Implications of Differential Privacy for Census Bureau Data and Research Task Force on Differential Privacy for Census Data

Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI) University of Minnesota

The Census Bureau has announced a new set of standards and methods for disclosure control in public use data products. The new approach, known as differential privacy, represents a radical departure from current practice. In its pure form, differential privacy techniques may make the release of useful microdata impossible and severely limit the utility of tabular small-area data. Adoption of differential privacy will have far-reaching consequences for research. It is possible—even likely—that scientists, planners, and the public will lose the free access we have enjoyed for six decades to reliable public Census Bureau data describing American social and economic change. We believe that the differential privacy approach is inconsistent with the statutory obligations, history, and core mission of the Census Bureau.


This is the group that runs, so I have reasons to believe they know what they are doing and what they are critiquing. I stumbled upon this on Twitter (, where one of the acknowledged contributors provided a critique of this critique.

Maybe the 2019 conference should have a serious discussion of this -- possibly as high as a plenary or something.