Experimental quantum homomorphic encryption

Experimental setup of Experimental quantum homomorphic encryption.

Quantum computers promise not only to outperform classical machines for certain important tasks, but also to preserve privacy of computation.

For example, the blind quantum computing protocol enables secure delegated quantum computation, where a client can protect the privacy of their data and algorithms from a quantum server assigned to run the computation.

However, this security comes with the practical limitation that the client and server must communicate after each step of computation. A practical alternative is homomorphic encryption, which does not require any interactions, while providing quantum-enhanced data security for a variety of computations.

In this scenario, the server specifies the computation to be performed, and the client provides only the input data, thus enabling secure noninteractive computation.

A team of researchers at Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology (VCQ) and Centre for Quantum Technologies, Singapore (CQT), has demonstrated homomorphic-encrypted quantum computing with unitary transformations of individual qubits, as well as multi-qubit quantum walk computations using single-photon states and non-birefringent integrated optics. The client encrypts their input in the photons’ polarization state, while the server performs the computation using the path degree of freedom.

This demonstration using integrated quantum photonics underlines the applicability of homomorphic-encrypted quantum computations, and shows the potential for delegated quantum computing using photons.

The paper has been published in npj quantum information.