UVa Today Story on Secure Computation

14 October 2011

UVa Today has a story about our secure computation project: U.Va. Team Awarded $3 Million NSF Secure Computation Grant, Fariss Samarrai, UVa Today, 14 October 2011.

Photo: Cole Geddy

“Secure computation is the idea that you can have two people compute a function that depends on things that each one knows individually and wants to keep private without exposing their private data to the other person, or to anyone else,” Evans said.

The research has applications in everyday life, from private medical information, such as personal genomics, to privacy-preserving face recognition and electronic commerce.

As a simple example of how it works, consider two people who each have smartphones with personal address books. They would like to know if they know any of the same people by comparing their address books. But, they may not want to share their address books, which include potentially sensitive private information. So how can they find the common entries, without revealing anything about their other contacts?

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