Cryptographic Tools for Privacy Preservation

Abstract: Data permeates every aspect of our daily life and it is the backbone of our digitalized society. Smartphones, smartwatches and many more smart devices measure, collect, modify and share data in what is known as the Internet of Things. Often, these devices don’t have enough computation power/storage space thus out-sourcing some aspects of the data management to the Cloud. Outsourcing computation/storage to a third party poses natural questions regarding the security and privacy of the shared sensitive data. Intuitively, Cryptography is a toolset of primitives/protocols of which security prop- erties are formally proven while Privacy typically captures additional social/legislative requirements that relate more to the concept of “trust” between people, “how” data is used and/or “who” has access to data. This thesis separates the concepts by introducing an abstract model that classifies data leaks into different types of breaches. Each class represents a specific requirement/goal related to cryptography, e.g. confidentiality or integrity, or related to privacy, e.g. liability, sensitive data management and more. The thesis contains cryptographic tools designed to provide privacy guarantees for different application scenarios. In more details, the thesis: (a) defines new encryption schemes that provide formal privacy guarantees such as theoretical privacy definitions like Differential Privacy (DP), or concrete privacy-oriented applications covered by existing regulations such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); (b) proposes new tools and procedures for providing verifiable computation’s guarantees in concrete scenarios for post-quantum cryptography or generalisation of signature schemes; (c) proposes a methodology for utilising Machine Learning (ML) for analysing the effective security and privacy of a crypto-tool and, dually, proposes a secure primitive that allows computing specific ML algorithm in a privacy-preserving way; (d) provides an alternative protocol for secure communication between two parties, based on the idea of communicating in a periodically timed fashion.