Biden Faces Census 'Time Bomb' (Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Wednesday, 16 December 2020 03:40 PM
President-elect Joe Biden will have to sort out a troubled 2020 Census after an overview of the Census Bureau’s privacy program showed its potential problems, TalkingPointsMemo reports.
“We don’t know what it is going to screw up, but no one is watching the cooks here,” an unnamed census expert from outside the bureau told TPM. “This is a time bomb waiting to go off.”
Utah state legislators performed a test on the Census privacy system in February using data from 2010, and found that the “analysis indicates three concerns,” regarding data loss and distorted numbers.
“Based upon our analysis of differential privacy as applied to the 2010 census redistricting data, we believe, if differential privacy is applied to the 2020 redistricting data, that the integrity of the data used to redistrict the state into congressional and legislative districts, and also within our local jurisdictions, will be threatened. It is therefore our recommendation that the bureau increase its efforts to hold the census block population data invariant,” Utah’s Speaker of the House and Senate President concluded in a message addressed to Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham.
“The fact that we have spent billions of taxpayer dollars to collect good data, taken millions of hours — of community hours, of local government hours, state hours — to come up with a good count, and then the Census Bureau is going to screw it all up? Frankly, that’s just not fair,” said Colorado state demographer Elizabeth Garner.