A brief history on Homomorphic learning: A privacy-focused approach to machine learning

by   Aadesh Neupane, et al.

Cryptography and data science research grew exponential with the internet boom. Legacy encryption techniques force users to make a trade-off between usability, convenience, and security. Encryption makes valuable data inaccessible, as it needs to be decrypted each time to perform any operation. Billions of dollars could be saved, and millions of people could benefit from cryptography methods that don't compromise between usability, convenience, and security. Homomorphic encryption is one such paradigm that allows running arbitrary operations on encrypted data. It enables us to run any sophisticated machine learning algorithm without access to the underlying raw data. Thus, homomorphic learning provides the ability to gain insights from sensitive data that has been neglected due to various governmental and organization privacy rules. In this paper, we trace back the ideas of homomorphic learning formally posed by Ronald L. Rivest and Len Alderman as "Can we compute upon encrypted data?" in their 1978 paper. Then we gradually follow the ideas sprouting in the brilliant minds of Shafi Goldwasser, Kristin Lauter, Dan Bonch, Tomas Sander, Donald Beaver, and Craig Gentry to address that vital question. It took more than 30 years of collective effort to finally find the answer "yes" to that important question.


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