VU researcher to develop new framework for data privacy & utility

Victoria University (VU) researcher Dr Yongfeng Ge has been awarded Australian Research Council funding.
Monday 4 September 2023

VU researcher Dr Yongfeng (Felix) Ge, has received an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award to develop an evolutionary computation-based framework that will optimise privacy and utility issues in data storage and publishing. 

The need for enhanced data security systems in Australia has been highlighted by recent large-scale data breaches, which resulted in the disclosure of millions of individuals’ personal information.  

Data utility maintenance also brings significant economic benefits: reducing network costs, faster transactions, and cutting energy expenditure on processing. 

Dr Ge received $443,800 from the ARC for his project ‘Evolving privacy and utility in data storage and publishing’ – he aims to produce the theory and practical demonstration of how to build a reliable and robust system for privacy preservation and utility maintenance. 

The project will look to overcome limitations that have been encountered in previous attempts to optimise data privacy and utility problems statically and separately, with a specific emphasis on highlighting the interrelation among different requirements. 

“The trade-off between data privacy and utility has been a longstanding problem,” Dr Ge said.  

This project intends to produce evolutionary computation and distributed computation-based solutions to privacy preservation and utility maintenance, overcoming challenges in personalised requirements, dynamic environments, and multitasking difficulties. 

The expected outcomes of this project, including the evolutionary computational framework, will be made freely available to the Australian Government and companies to better protect sensitive data in an economically efficient manner.