Illinois

After the court’s ruling, the census is proceeding smoothly toward the release of data in August.

File – This April 5, 2020 photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a US resident in Detroit. A group of Harvard researchers oppose the US Census Bureau’s use of controversial privacy methods for the numbers used to redraw Congress and legislative districts, and have enough data to reorganize the constituency. It states that it will not generate. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya, file)

The U.S. Census Bureau said Wednesday that it would provide figures used to redraw Congress and the legislative district by mid-August after a federal judge dismissed an objection that could further delay data disclosure. Stated.

A committee of three federal judges on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction to stop the Census Bureau from using statistical methods aimed at keeping people’s data private in subdivisions. Denied Alabama’s request for it. A federal court ruling in Opelika, Alabama, allows the Census Bureau to move towards its goal of releasing constituency change data by August 16th.

Alabama and three Alabama politicians have sued the Census Bureau, claiming that a method known as differential privacy produces inaccurate data. However, the judge said it was premature to make a decision because the numbers had not yet been released.

“It is very likely that individual plaintiffs will return here once the final subdivision data is actually delivered to the state,” the judge wrote. “But until the station releases the final set of repartitioned data, it is not possible to know if differential privacy will do the harm alleged by the individual plaintiffs.”

A federal judge dismissed the count brought by Alabama, which claimed the method was inaccurate and unconstitutional. In the proceedings, Alabama and politicians alleged that the Census Bureau violated proper decision-making rules when devising differential privacy, and the judge allowed them to advance their counts.

Bureau officials have postponed the release of repartitioned data, which had already been postponed from the March 31 deadline due to a pandemic, for a few more months if alternatives to protect privacy need to be adopted. He said it would be done. Due to this delay, the state is scrambling to change the constituency change deadline and consider using other data to redraw the political district.

“We will keep in mind the court’s ruling and continue accordingly,” the Census Bureau said in a statement.

Differential privacy adds intentional errors to the data to hide the identities of certain participants in the 2020 census while providing statistically valid information. The Census Bureau states that more privacy protection is needed than in the last few decades, as innovation is increasing the threat to those identified through census responses.

Civil rights groups have raised concerns that differential privacy can hinder the enforcement of voting rights and make it difficult to create districts with a majority of racial or ethnic minorities.

Imagine a privacy tool as a dial with the lowest privacy setting and the lowest accuracy setting, and the Census Bureau dialed up accuracy in a final guideline issued earlier this month. The statistical term for this dial is “epsilon” and the station settled on epsilon at 19.61. This is significantly higher than where the dial was set in previous test versions where critics expressed concern.

In a statement provided by the state’s legal team, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said he was disappointed with the decision but would decide what to do after the constituency change data was released in August. According to Marshall, if the subdivision data needs to be based on the actual number of people created in the once-in-a-decade census, and there are “unprecedented levels of error” that the Census Bureau will insert into the data. If legal, the judge’s decision could not be answered. ..

“I think the answers to these questions are clear. The station has no authority to manipulate the state of the population data used for repartitioning, and the station’s decision to dramatically distort the repartitioning data is clear. It’s unnecessary and illegal, “says Marshall. “In this case, these issues will continue to occur.”

___

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.



After the court’s ruling, the census is proceeding smoothly toward the release of data in August.

Source link After the court’s ruling, the census is proceeding smoothly toward the release of data in August.

Related Articles

Back to top button