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Enforcing privacy by withholding private information

Lategan and Olivier


(Citation)Citation information

F. A. Lategan and M. S. Olivier. “Enforcing privacy by withholding private information”. In: Information Security for Global Information Infrastructures. Ed. by S Qing and J. H. P. Eloff. Kluwer, 2000, pp. 421–430


Privacy of information is becoming more and more important as we start trusting unknown computers, servers and organisations with more and more of our personal information. Thus far, no reliable and practical method to enforce privacy has been discovered. Often a set of private information has to be supplied simply to enable the recipient to verify that one member of the set is correct given the other methods. An income tax return is an example where such information has to be supplied simply to verify taxable income. The object of this paper is to consider mechanisms to safeguard our private information in cases where this information is required not for the contents, but as input to verify calculations. We shall present an encryption method to protect private information where the private information consists of a set of numeric values S on which some function ¡em¿G¡/em¿ has to be applied and the result a = G(S) has to be supplied to a target organisation. The result a must be verifiable by the target organisation, without disclosing S. We apply this method to the specific case of protecting the privacy of electronic income tax returns, and discuss other possible applications.

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DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-35515-3_43

(BibTeX record)BibTeX reference

author={Frans A Lategan and Martin S Olivier},
title={Enforcing privacy by withholding private information},
editor={S Qing and Jan H P Eloff},
booktitle={Information Security for Global Information Infrastructures},
year={2000} )