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How do you securely exchange encrypted-decrypted-recrypted data? Ask Microsoft

No keymasters, just keys

Microsoft researchers are working to enable secure data exchange in the cloud for applications.

The work is designed to resolve the dilemma that to store data in the cloud it needs to be encrypted but to process this data it needs to be decrypted, leaving it potentially open to attack.

This tradeoff between data usability and security might be bridged through what Redmond’s boffins describes as a protocol, or set of rules, to securely exchange data for multiparty computation, as explained in a blog post (extract below).

The exchange is based on the idea of a secure multiparty computation, where two or more parties agree to evaluate their data in a way that one or more of the parties gets a result but none of the parties learns anything about the others’ data, except for what can be inferred from the result.

Such secure data exchange open to door to all sorts of applications including the ability to train algorithms, perform market research, conduct auctions and enable new business opportunities.

“The computation is performed in the cloud, and the computation itself is encrypted in such a way that not even the cloud knows what is being computed,” Microsoft explains.

Microsoft's research (paper here) remains a work in progress that’s aimed towards eventually releasing a library, or tools, needed to implement the secure data exchange at an unspecified point in the “near future”. ®

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