In the fine print on the PPP loan application, applicants were warned that their name could be released publicly through records requests, so the release of this information shouldn’t be too concerning from a privacy standpoint. However, the fact that the errors are so heavily skewed toward one bank should give Bank of America’s clients pause. These loans represent just 0.25% of the banks loans, but it was making the error at a rate 337 times higher than JPMorgan, which had 0.0007% of its loans with the name-for-city mistake.

To find these loans we compared the listed city with those that the US Postal Service associates with the zip code on the loan. We then reduced the list to only those with city fields that contained both a name from a list of 98,000 American first names and a name from a list of 162,000 American last names. To eliminate common misspellings we reduced the list further by only looking at possible names that appear less than 10 times in the data. Finally we checked the resulting list by hand to remove uniquely misspelled or misattributed city names.

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