Enforcing Privacy by Withholding Private Information

  • Frans Lategan
  • Martin S. Olivier
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 47)


Privacy of information is becoming more and more important as we start trusting unknown computers, servers and organisations with more and more of our personal information. Thus far, no reliable and practical method to enforce privacy has been discovered. Often a set of private information has to be supplied simply to enable the recipient to verify that one member of the set is correct given the other methods. An income tax return is an example where such information has to be supplied simply to verify taxable income. The object of this paper is to consider mechanisms to safeguard our private information in cases where this information is required not for the contents, but as input to verify calculations. We shall present an encryption method to protect private information where the private information consists of a set of numeric values S on which some function G has to be applied and the result α = G(S) has to be supplied to a target organisation. The result α must be verifiable by the target organisation, without disclosing S. We apply this method to the specific case of protecting the privacy of electronic income tax returns, and discuss other possible applications.


Taxable Income Private Information Information Security Encryption Function Vote Counter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frans Lategan
    • 1
  • Martin S. Olivier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceRand Afrikaans UniversitySouth Africa

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