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What is homomorphic encryption?
Homomorphic encryption – which some have called the “holy grail” of encryption – is a technique in which encrypted data can be used and analyzed without ever being decrypted and exposed as plaintext. How homomorphic encryption works: In a process heavily reliant on mathematics, a data owner sends encrypted data to the cloud, the server runs certain mathematical operations that allows for indexing, analytics, searches, and other queries, and only the encrypted results are returned to the owner for decryption with the matching private key. The privacy of the original data is maintained throughout the entire process. The technique has implications for user privacy, cybersecurity, and the business models available to companies (e.g. targeted advertising) in an environment of widespread encryption.