With the ever-increasing use of internet-connected devices, such as computers, smart grids, IoT appliances and GPS-enabled equipments, personal data are collected in larger and larger amounts, and then stored and manipulated for the most diverse purposes. Undeniably, the big-data technology provides enormous benefits to industry, individuals and society, ranging from improving business strategies and boosting quality of service to enhancing scientific progress. On the other hand, however, the collection and manipulation of personal data raises alarming privacy issues. Not only the experts, but also the population at large are becoming increasingly aware of the risks, due to the repeated cases of violations and leaks that keep hitting the headlines.
The objective of this project is to develop the theoretical foundations, methods and tools to protect the privacy of the individuals while letting their data to be collected and used for statistical purposes. We aim in particular at developing mechanisms that can be applied and controlled directly by the user thus avoiding the need of a trusted party, are robust with respect to combination of information from different sources, and provide an optimal trade-off between privacy and utility.
This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Grant agreement № 835294.
The name of the project is a homage to Hypatia of Alexandria