Data handlers could soon collaborate on encrypted databases without revealing their secrets, following a homomorphic cryptography breakthrough by scientists at the University of Bristol. ...
... The work makes practical a theory put forward by IBM last year. The researchers claim potential applications for the technology are wide-ranging, involving any aspect of technology where privacy and collaboration are equally important.
They say the system could be used in medical research, with hospitals or drug companies performing statistical calculations on shared databases without revealing information about individual patients.
Alternatively, the homomorphic cryptology could improve security in electronic voting. Constituents would encrypt their votes and the returning officer could compute the outcome while maintaining voter privacy.