Google Releases Basic Homomorphic Encryption Tool

Post Syndicated from Bruce Schneier original

Google has released an open-source cryptographic tool: Private Join and Compute. From a Wired article:

Private Join and Compute uses a 1970s methodology known as “commutative ” to allow data in the data sets to be encrypted with multiple keys, without it mattering which order the keys are used in. This is helpful for multiparty computation, where you need to apply and later peel away multiple layers of without affecting the computations performed on the encrypted data. Crucially, Private Join and Compute also uses methods first developed in the ’90s that enable a system to combine two encrypted data sets, determine what they have in common, and then perform mathematical computations directly on this encrypted, unreadable data through a technique called homomorphic encryption.

True homomorphic encryption isn’t possible, and my guess is that it will never be feasible for most applications. But limited application tricks like this have been around for decades, and sometimes they’re useful.

Boing Boing article.