Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a method for retrieving private information from a database that is approximately 30 times faster than comparable methods.
Using this technique, users could search online databases without the server seeing their query, communicate without messaging apps knowing what they are saying or to whom, or access relevant online ads without sharing their interests with advertising servers.
The researchers created the Simple PIR protocol to perform the bulk of the cryptographic work prior to the client sending a query.
This involves producing a data structure that holds compressed information about database contents, which serves as a hint for the client.
They developed the Double PIR scheme to reduce the size of the hint, generating a more compact hint with a fixed size.
From MIT News
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