International Association for Cryptologic Research

International Association
for Cryptologic Research


On Quantum Advantage in Information Theoretic Single-Server PIR

Dorit Aharonov
Zvika Brakerski
Kai-Min Chung
Ayal Green
Ching-Yi Lai
Or Sattath
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-17659-4_8 (login may be required)
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Abstract: In (single-server) Private Information Retrieval (PIR), a server holds a large database $${\mathtt {DB}}$$ of size n, and a client holds an index $$i \in [n]$$ and wishes to retrieve $${\mathtt {DB}}[i]$$ without revealing i to the server. It is well known that information theoretic privacy even against an “honest but curious” server requires $$\varOmega (n)$$ communication complexity. This is true even if quantum communication is allowed and is due to the ability of such an adversarial server to execute the protocol on a superposition of databases instead of on a specific database (“input purification attack”).Nevertheless, there have been some proposals of protocols that achieve sub-linear communication and appear to provide some notion of privacy. Most notably, a protocol due to Le Gall (ToC 2012) with communication complexity $$O(\sqrt{n})$$ , and a protocol by Kerenidis et al. (QIC 2016) with communication complexity $$O(\log (n))$$ , and O(n) shared entanglement.We show that, in a sense, input purification is the only potent adversarial strategy, and protocols such as the two protocols above are secure in a restricted variant of the quantum honest but curious (a.k.a specious) model. More explicitly, we propose a restricted privacy notion called anchored privacy, where the adversary is forced to execute on a classical database (i.e. the execution is anchored to a classical database). We show that for measurement-free protocols, anchored security against honest adversarial servers implies anchored privacy even against specious adversaries.Finally, we prove that even with (unlimited) pre-shared entanglement it is impossible to achieve security in the standard specious model with sub-linear communication, thus further substantiating the necessity of our relaxation. This lower bound may be of independent interest (in particular recalling that PIR is a special case of Fully Homomorphic Encryption).
Video from EUROCRYPT 2019
  title={On Quantum Advantage in Information Theoretic Single-Server PIR},
  booktitle={Advances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2019},
  series={Advances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2019},
  author={Dorit Aharonov and Zvika Brakerski and Kai-Min Chung and Ayal Green and Ching-Yi Lai and Or Sattath},