[Resource Topic] 1998/003: Private Information Retrieval by Keywords

Welcome to the resource topic for 1998/003

Private Information Retrieval by Keywords

Authors: Benny Chor, Niv Gilboa, Moni Naor


Private information retrieval (PIR) schemes enable a user to
access one or more servers that hold copies of
a database and {\em privately} retrieve parts of the n
bits of data stored in the database. This means that the queries
give each individual
database no partial information (in the information theoretic or computational
sense) on the identity of the item retrieved by the user.

All known PIR schemes assume that the user knows the {\em physical address}
of the sought item. This is usually not the case when accessing a public
database that is not managed by the user. Such databases are typically
presented with keywords, which are then internally translated (at the
database end) to physical addresses, using an appropriate search
structure (for example, a hash table or a binary tree). In this note we
describe a simple, modular way to privately access data by keywords.
It combines {\em any} conventional search structure with {\em any}
underlying PIR scheme (including single server schemes). The transformation
requires no modification in the way that the search structure is maintained.
Therefore the same database will support both private and regular (non
private) searches.

ePrint: https://eprint.iacr.org/1998/003

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