Google has open-sourced a collection of C++ libraries for implementing Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) in modern applications. From a report: Fully homomorphic encryption, or simply homomorphic encryption, is a form of data encryption that allows users/applications to perform mathematical computations on encrypted data without decrypting it first, keeping the data’s privacy intact. While the concept of homomorphic encryption has been around since 1978, when it was first described at a theoretical level, and 2009, when it was first implemented in practice, it has not been broadly adopted in software due to its complexity, advanced cryptography techniques, and lack of open-source code and public documentation. However, despite this, today, FHE is a hot technology in software design.
FHE allows software vendors to work on encrypted data without sharing the encryption/decryption keys with untrustworthy systems such as client-side apps or publicly-hosted web servers, where the keys could be stolen or intercepted by malware or malicious human operators. FHE allows developers to keep data secure, encrypted, and private, all at the same time, and Google hopes that developers will use its FHE libraries as the first step into adopting this new type of encryption technology within their applications.