Indexed on: 22 Jan '14Published on: 22 Jan '14Published in: Nature communications
The ability to perform computations on encrypted data is a powerful tool for protecting privacy. Recently, protocols to achieve this on classical computing systems have been found. Here, we present an efficient solution to the quantum analogue of this problem that enables arbitrary quantum computations to be carried out on encrypted quantum data. We prove that an untrusted server can implement a universal set of quantum gates on encrypted quantum bits (qubits) without learning any information about the inputs, while the client, knowing the decryption key, can easily decrypt the results of the computation. We experimentally demonstrate, using single photons and linear optics, the encryption and decryption scheme on a set of gates sufficient for arbitrary quantum computations. As our protocol requires few extra resources compared with other schemes it can be easily incorporated into the design of future quantum servers. These results will play a key role in enabling the development of secure distributed quantum systems.