An extreme form of encryption could solve big data’s privacy problem

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Fully homomorphic encryption allows us to run analysis on data without ever seeing the contents. It could help us reap the full benefits of big data, from fighting financial fraud to catching diseases early



Technology



6 April 2022

Chris Malbon

LIKE any doctor, Jacques Fellay wants to give his patients the best care possible. But his instrument of choice is no scalpel or stethoscope, it is far more powerful than that. Hidden inside each of us are genetic markers that can tell doctors like Fellay which individuals are susceptible to diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis and more. If he can learn to read these clues, then Fellay would have advance warning of who requires early treatment.

This could be life-saving. The trouble is, teasing out the relationships between genetic markers and diseases requires an awful lot of data, more than …

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