- MIT and Harvard researchers are developing a cryptography-based service that would let users choose which applications can access their data and when.
- The application, called Sieve, would store a user's personal data encrypted in the cloud.
- Any application that wants to access someone’s data would have to send a request to the user. If the user agreed, the application would receive a key to decrypt the specific data requested.
The researchers said they are developing the service because even though more data is being collected on people, they rarely know when or where it’s collected or how it’s stored.
Sieve represents "a rethinking of the Web infrastructure," said Frank Wang, one of the system's designers, according to ZDNet.
Eventually, both companies and individuals could use Sieve. If a user ever wanted to rescind the app's access, Sieve would re-encrypt data using a new cryptographic key.
The researchers developed working versions of two different cryptographic techniques to test the service: attribute-based encryption and key homomorphism.
Given Apple’s high-profile battle with the Department of Justice, encryption and enabling better control over data may become a selling point for both consumers and businesses alike.