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Homomorphic encryption

Homomorphic encryption definition

Homomorphic encryption is a type of encryption that allows computations to be carried out on ciphertext, generating an encrypted result that, when decrypted, matches the result of operations performed on the plaintext. This allows for complex mathematical operations and data processing while maintaining data privacy.

Let’s say you have two numbers: 5 and 3. You encrypt 5 and 3 using homomorphic encryption and get two ciphertexts. Then you perform multiplication on these ciphertexts to get another ciphertext. When you decrypt this resultant ciphertext, you get 15.

Usage of homomorphic encryption

  • Healthcare. In healthcare, privacy is paramount. Homomorphic encryption allows researchers to analyze encrypted health data, such as patient records or genetic data, without exposing sensitive information.
  • Financial services. Banks and other financial institutions often need to perform computations on sensitive data via homomorphic encryption.
  • Machine learning. Researchers use homomorphic encryption to train machine learning models on encrypted data. They can use a third-party machine learning service without exposing their data.
  • Voting systems. Electronic voting systems use homomorphic encryption to ensure that votes are counted correctly while preserving voter privacy.
  • Supply chain. In shared supply chain processes, homomorphic encryption can be used to calculate totals and perform other computations without revealing the specific details of each transaction to other parties.