Affiliation: Hewlett-Packard Labs
Privacy-Preserving Audit and Extraction of Digital Contents
A growing number of online services, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon, are starting to charge users for their storage. Customers often use these services to store valuable data such as email, family photos and videos, and disk backups. Today, a customer must entirely trust such external services to maintain the integrity of hosted data and return it intact. Unfortunately, no service is infallible. To make storage services accountable for data loss, we present protocols that allow a third-party auditor to periodically verify the data stored by a service and assist in returning the data intact to the customer. Most importantly, our protocols are privacy-preserving, in that they never reveal the data contents to the auditor. Our solution removes the burden of verification from the customer, alleviates both the customers and storage services fear of data leakage, and provides a method for independent arbitration of data retention contracts.