Protecting the Past and Present of Data, with Applications in Provenance and Regulatory Compliant Databases
While the digital nature of modern information has brought enormous benefits, it has also created new vulnerabilities. Unlike physical documents, digitally stored information can be rapidly copied, erased, or tampered. Digital data may be stored in or transmitted via untrusted systems. Even insiders can have financial or strategic motives to tamper data or violate privacy and confidentiality. Access control alone often cannot provide the necessary protection to data, when insiders with super-user access rights become adversaries. Protecting the current instance of data may not be sufficient; in a distributed computing environment, the authors may need to know the history of a data object - i.e., its provenance - to make informed decisions about its trustworthiness.