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Revisiting the uniqueness of simple demographics in the US population

 

According to a famous study [Swe00] of the 1990 census data, 87% of the US population can be uniquely identified by gender, ZIP code and full date of birth. This short paper revisits the uniqueness of simple demographics in the US population based on the most recent census data (the 2000 census). Our study extends, updates, and in one instance corrects the results of [Swe00]. We offer a more detailed, comprehensive and up-to-date picture of the threat to privacy posed by the disclosure of simple demographic information. We hope this study will be a useful reference for privacy researchers who need simple estimates of the comparative threat of disclosing various demographic data.

 
citation

Golle, P. Revisiting the uniqueness of simple demographics in the US population. ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society; 2006 October 30; Alexandria; VA; USA. NY: ACM; 2006; 77-80.