[ppml] Comment on "Policy Proposal 2006-1" (Residential Privacy modification)

Sam Weiler weiler at tislabs.com
Tue Oct 10 11:24:05 EDT 2006

On Wed, 4 Oct 2006, william(at)elan.net wrote:

> (in fact for US even 5 letter code is not specific - zip
> codes follow density as well so rural territories have very large
> areas covered by same zipcode).

In Montreal, I presented some results derived from the US Census
bureau's ZCTA files (not quite the same as ZIP codes, but pretty
close, and pleasantly easy to get to).  From my observations, ZIP code
density is not particularly even.

Pulling some sample numbers: 2655 ZCTA's have fewer than 100
households (out of 33233 ZCTA's with non-zero population).  I gave
specific examples of ZCTA's scattered across the country with 8-48
households, and there was even a ZCTA within Washington, DC with only
23 households.

> Regarding city this is indeed an issue for rural areas where city
> may include only a dozen households (in many states they would not
> even allow to incorporate in this case). I agree that this needs
> to be addressed and there is actually a very simple solution by
> allowing County name to be entered in case this is unincorporated
> area (which is in fact exactly what is being done right now) as
> well as if the city itself is smaller then say 1000 residents -
> we can even do it by just renaming "city" field to "city/locality"
> and leaving it to the discretion of the ISP if the are entering
> actual city name there or name of local territorial unit (township,
> borrough, county, etc) if user has privacy concerns.

I'm glad you agree that these small areas need to be dealt with.

First, as noted above, the issue is the same for ZIP codes and small

Second, I have concerns that specifying the details of such a policy
would be intractable, particularly given the twenty-six different
"countries" in ARIN's service region, some of which are likely to do
their own thing with respect to postal codes.

Thirdly, I'm concerned that even setting a threshhold to the size of
the area identified, even if we agree that it's tractable to use such
a threshhold, will wind up providing too little privacy for the end

-- Sam

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