Homomorphic encryption is a form of encryption that permits users to perform computations on its encrypted data without first decrypting it. These resulting computations are left in an encrypted form which, when decrypted, result in an identical output to that produced had the operations been performed on the unencrypted data. Homomorphic encryption can be used for privacy-preserving outsourced storage and computation. This allows data to be encrypted and out-sourced to commercial cloud environments for processing, all while encrypted.

Quick facts: General, Derived from, Related to...
Homomorphic encryption
Derived fromVarious assumptions, including learning with errors, Ring learning with errors or even RSA (multiplicative) and others
Related toFunctional encryption

For sensitive data, such as health care information, homomorphic encryption can be used to enable new services by removing privacy barriers inhibiting data sharing or increase security to existing services. For example, predictive analytics in health care can be hard to apply via a third party service provider due to medical data privacy concerns, but if the predictive analytics service provider can operate on encrypted data instead, these privacy concerns are diminished. Moreover, even if the service provider's system is compromised, the data would remain secure.