Commerce Secretary Raimondo defends census privacy method

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is defending a controversial privacy technique being used by the U.S. Census Bureau for the first time in the 2020 census. The secretary’s remarks came Wednesday as the statistical agency promised that the method will only make small changes to actual numbers in counts of racial and ethnic groups. The technique called “differential privacy” adds mathematical “noise,” or errors, to the data to obscure any given individual’s identity while still providing statistically valid information. Speaking at a White House briefing, Raimondo said the method was “justified.” She says data hacks are much more sophisticated than they were a decade ago.