Paper 2008/186

Privacy-Preserving Audit and Extraction of Digital Contents

Mehul A. Shah, Ram Swaminathan, and Mary Baker


A growing number of online services, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon, are starting to charge users for their storage. Customers often use these services to store valuable data such as email, family photos and videos, and disk backups. Today, a customer must entirely trust such external services to maintain the integrity of hosted data and return it intact. Unfortunately, no service is infallible. To make storage services accountable for data loss, we present protocols that allow a third-party auditor to periodically verify the data stored by a service and assist in returning the data intact to the customer. Most importantly, our protocols are privacy-preserving, in that they never reveal the data contents to the auditor. Our solution removes the burden of verification from the customer, alleviates both the customer’s and storage service’s fear of data leakage, and provides a method for independent arbitration of data retention contracts.

Available format(s)
Publication info
Published elsewhere. Also available as HPL Technical Report No. HPL-2008-32
storageauditingextractionretrievabilitydigital preservationprivacy
Contact author(s)
mehul shah @ hp com
2008-04-29: received
Short URL
Creative Commons Attribution


      author = {Mehul A.  Shah and Ram Swaminathan and Mary Baker},
      title = {Privacy-Preserving Audit and Extraction of Digital Contents},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2008/186},
      year = {2008},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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