Homomorphic encryption is cryptographic system that allows data to remain encrypted while it is in use. The system allows computations and data manipulations to be performed on a a cipher text, instead of the actual data itself, providing a more secure ecosystem for data interactions. The system allows encrypted data to remain encrypted while being manipulated without having to decrypt it first. It allows users to apply functions on the encrypted data without the values of the data being revealed.
Homomorphic encryption is based on an algebraic system, and uses arithmetic circuits instead of more commonly used Boolean circuits.
The use of partial homomorphic encryption systems has been used in cryptosystems designed for the financial, healthcare, and retail industries, cloud computing, and e-voting democratic election technologies. One such system is the Paillier cryptosystem, invented in 1999, which is an additive homomorphic encryption system.
Research on homomorphic encryption dates back to MIT researchers Ronald Rivest, Len Adleman and Michel Dertouzos. In 2009, Craig Gentry constructed the first fully homomorphic encryption scheme.
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