NTT Launches New Cryptography Tool

NTT Launches New Cryptography Tool

This article is the first of a two-part series examining recent advancements in encryption technology that are set to have significant impacts on how businesses comply with data privacy regulations.

NTT Research, Inc., a division of global technology and business solutions provider, NTT, just announced a new product called the “private telemetry system,” (PTS) at its Upgrade 2023 annual research summit. The private telemetry system is a kind of encryption technology that can be used to analyze aggregate data while maintaining privacy. According to IT Pro Today, “NTT’s private telemetry system aims to kill two birds with one stone: Help companies safely access, contextualize, and use the data they need to build customer-centric products and services while assuring individual consumers that these companies are never exposed to their personal data.”

Elette Boyle, a senior scientist at NTT Research’s CIS Lab says that with its private telemetry system, companies will be able to access aggregated data, “without veering into personal data that is specific to the user,” so that companies can utilizing consumer data without having to consider data privacy regulations—because the information remains invisible to users and unconnected to its owners.

How Does PTS Work?

The PTS is based on a proofing system, where proofs function as “building blocks” for authentication systems. These systems require a proving party and a verifying party that must agree a ‘statement’ is true. One example of this is when a website user, the “prover,” in this case, enters her password into a website. In this case, the website is the “verifier” of the password, and thus the user. 

The science has been advanced in part by a paper on the subject, authored by Dr Brent Waters, NTT Research CIS Lab director, and Dr David Wu, an assistant professor at University of Texas at Austin, The paper, according to ITPro, “is significant as it develops new techniques for communications and the proof system model.”

The paper by Waters will “allow a user to check any number of computations at the price of essentially checking just a single computation. This can then be used to obtain an approach to efficiently verify the computations[.]” This is what is known as a ‘commit-and-prove’ approach, in which “the prover first ‘commits’ to the statement being proved (such as the computation being checked). The prover then proves that the commitments are valid; importantly, the size of the proof is short and, moreover, they can be checked efficiently by the verifier.”

This approach differs from previous approaches in that it does not rely on “heavyweight cryptographic tools or complex probabilistic proof systems to construct these argument systems.” The NTT’s work will avoid the use of “all of these cryptographic tools and takes a very direct approach where we directly argue that each elementary step in the computation is performed correctly.” As such, the NTT’s approach will create a much simpler and efficient system that organizations can implement.

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To read our news alerts discussing: Washington State’s new health data law, ChatGPT’s privacy efforts, and the FTC’s recent enforcement actions, click here.

This week’s breach report covers the following organizations: T-Mobile, Charter Foods, Inc., Jewel-Osco, Carrington Mortgage Services, Diocese of Las Vegas, and ChatGPT. Click here to find out more.

Jody Westby hosts our podcast, ADCG on Privacy & Cybersecurity, bringing together leaders in the privacy and cybersecurity arenas to discuss a wide range of issues ranging from the proposed federal and state regulations to best practices and standards for compliance. Episodes can be enjoyed on many platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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90 | AdTech Meets Privacy Laws (with guest Susan Israel)

89 | Quantum Technologies: What is Possible, Where We Are Headed & Policy Issues to Consider (with Guest Chris Hoofnagle)

88 | TikTok: A Path for Election Interference and Open Source Intelligence? (with guests Berit Anderson and Evan Anderson)

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