Privacy and correctness trade-offs for information-theoretically secure quantum homomorphic encryption

Yanglin Hu1, Yingkai Ouyang1, and Marco Tomamichel1,2

1Centre of Quantum Technologies, National University of Singapore, Singapore
2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore

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Quantum homomorphic encryption, which allows computation by a server directly on encrypted data, is a fundamental primitive out of which more complex quantum cryptography protocols can be built. For such constructions to be possible, quantum homomorphic encryption must satisfy two privacy properties: data privacy which ensures that the input data is private from the server, and circuit privacy which ensures that the ciphertext after the computation does not reveal any additional information about the circuit used to perform it, beyond the output of the computation itself. While circuit privacy is well-studied in classical cryptography and many homomorphic encryption schemes can be equipped with it, its quantum analogue has received little attention. Here we establish a definition of circuit privacy for quantum homomorphic encryption with information-theoretic security. Furthermore, we reduce quantum oblivious transfer to quantum homomorphic encryption. By using this reduction, our work unravels fundamental trade-offs between circuit privacy, data privacy and correctness for a broad family of quantum homomorphic encryption protocols, including schemes that allow only the computation of Clifford circuits.

Imagine going to an accounting firm to consult your accountant about your tax. You do not want your accountant to know your private data private, such as your income and tax. On the contrary, your accountant does not want you to learn how she computes your tax. Otherwise, you will do it yourself next time, and she’ll lose her job. Is it possible that both of you are satisfied?
If one of you cannot solve a specific complicated problem, then yes, and you can use classical homomorphic encryption. However, can we get rid of the questionable assumption? The hope is to bring quantum mechanics to quantum homomorphic encryption, which usually improves security.
In our paper, we answer the question with a no. One of you and your accountant cannot be satisfied. There is a trade-off between the information you leak and the information your accountant leaks.

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Cited by

[1] Yanglin Hu and Marco Tomamichel, "Fundamental limits on quantum cloning from the no-signaling principle", Physical Review A 109 2, 022221 (2024).

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