An IBM researcher has solved a tricky mathematical problem that makes it possible to analyse encrypted data without compromising privacy.
Craig Gentry used a mathematical object called an ideal lattice to develop a system called fully homomorphic encryption (apparently you might also know it as ‘privacy homomorphism’).
With the breakthrough, companies storing confidential, electronic data will be able to analyse data on their clients’ behalf without expensive interaction, and without actually seeing any of the private data.
For instance, it could allow cloud computing companies to process months of confidential sales data, without exposing the original information.
Other potential applications include enabling filters to identify spam, even in encrypted email, or protecting information contained in electronic medical records. Eventually, homomorphic encryption could let users retrieve information from a search engine with complete confidentiality.
Read more on TechRadar.com.