International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


Paper: Privacy-Preserving Audit and Extraction of Digital Contents

Mehul A. Shah
Ram Swaminathan
Mary Baker
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Abstract: 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 customer’s and storage service’s fear of data leakage, and provides a method for independent arbitration of data retention contracts.
  title={Privacy-Preserving Audit and Extraction of Digital Contents},
  booktitle={IACR Eprint archive},
  keywords={applications / storage, auditing, extraction, retrievability, digital preservation, privacy},
  note={Also available as HPL Technical Report No. HPL-2008-32 13995 received 25 Apr 2008, last revised 25 Apr 2008},
  author={Mehul A. Shah and Ram Swaminathan and Mary Baker},