Judges Hear Arguments over Contentious Census Privacy Tool

2020 Census Redistricting

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A panel of judges has heard arguments over whether the U.S. Census Bureau can use a controversial statistical technique to keep people’s information private in the numbers used for drawing political districts. Monday’s hearing hinged on a balancing test: The method known as “differential privacy” must meet the federal legal requirement for maintaining the confidentiality of people who participated in the 2020 census. But it also has to allow the numbers to be sufficiently accurate for the highly partisan process of redrawing congressional and legislative districts. Because a panel of three federal judges is deciding the matter, any appeal could go straight to the Supreme Court.

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