Zero-knowledge proofs are protocols that prove an assertion without
revealing any information beyond that assertionâ€™s validity. Zero-knowledge
proofs were first introduced by Goldwasser, Micali, and Rackoff in 1985.
The power of zero-knowledge proofs is quite remarkable: anything that can
be proved efficiently can be proved with a zero-knowledge protocol, under
the cryptographic assumption that one-way functions exist.
What happens when we move to physical properties? For instance, is it
possible to prove that two DNA-fingerprints match, or that they do not
match, without revealing any further information about the fingerprints? Is
it possible to prove that two objects have the same design without
revealing the design itself? Zero-knowledge is not as well-developed in the
context of problems that are inherently physical.
In this talk I will discuss recent work (with Ben Fisch and Daniel Freund,
Crypto 2014 and TCC 2015) on protocols that prove physical properties of
physical objects without revealing further information.