Dynamic searchable symmetric encryption for storing geospatial data in the cloud

  • Benedikt Hiemenz
  • Michel KrämerEmail author
Regular Contribution


We present a dynamic searchable symmetric encryption scheme allowing users to securely store geospatial data in the cloud. Geospatial data sets often contain sensitive information, for example, about urban infrastructures. Since clouds are usually provided by third parties, these data need to be protected. Our approach allows users to encrypt their data in the cloud and make them searchable at the same time. It does not require an initialization phase, which enables users to dynamically add new data and remove existing records. We design multiple protocols differing in their level of security and performance, respectively. All of them support queries containing boolean expressions, as well as geospatial queries based on bounding boxes, for example. Our findings indicate that although the search in encrypted data requires more runtime than in unencrypted data, our approach is still suitable for real-world applications. We focus on geospatial data storage, but our approach can also be applied to applications from other areas dealing with keyword-based searches in encrypted data. We conclude the paper with a discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of our approach.


Cryptography Private information retrieval Geographic information systems Cloud computing 



We would like to thank Ralf Gutbell for his thorough review and the valuable input.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGDDarmstadtGermany

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