Digital Blind Box: Random Symmetric Private Information Retrieval

by   Zhusheng Wang, et al.

We introduce the problem of random symmetric private information retrieval (RSPIR). In canonical PIR, a user downloads a message out of K messages from N non-colluding and replicated databases in such a way that no database can know which message the user has downloaded (user privacy). In SPIR, the privacy is symmetric, in that, not only that the databases cannot know which message the user has downloaded, the user itself cannot learn anything further than the particular message it has downloaded (database privacy). In RSPIR, different from SPIR, the user does not have an input to the databases, i.e., the user does not pick a specific message to download, instead is content with any one of the messages. In RSPIR, the databases need to send symbols to the user in such a way that the user is guaranteed to download a message correctly (random reliability), the databases do not know which message the user has received (user privacy), and the user does not learn anything further than the one message it has received (database privacy). This is the digital version of a blind box, also known as gachapon, which implements the above specified setting with physical objects for entertainment. This is also the blind version of 1-out-of-K oblivious transfer (OT), an important cryptographic primitive. We study the information-theoretic capacity of RSPIR for the case of N=2 databases. We determine its exact capacity for the cases of K = 2, 3, 4 messages. While we provide a general achievable scheme that is applicable to any number of messages, the capacity for K≥ 5 remains open.


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