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I want to manage authorization, as 3rd-party permissions, through asymmetric cryptography.

I'm concerned about how is it possible to share access of encrypted data with N entities, and be able to revoke any of them at anytime, and this securely.

I've thought about a cryptography function that I'm asking here some help to build.

Let's imagine I have a public data base encrypted with my public Key.

I want:

  • to share some data from my encrypted DB(my email address for example) to 3 different entities (applications)
  • these 3 applications and only these to be able to read the data
  • to be able as a user to revoke their access to this data at any time.

I have a private/public Key and these applications owners too have a private/public key on the network.

I use a function to encrypt my email with my public key as


At this point, only me with my Private Key can read the data.

If I give access to a 3rd-party application to it, then I would re-encrypt my email with a new function, using my Public Key and the Application Public Key, where both my private key and the application Private Key are solution and can decrypt the data.

Encrypt(Email(MyPublicKey, AppPublicKey))

So, now, only me and the application could read the data with our private key because each of our private keys would be a solution of this encryption algorithm.

If I add a 2nd application access to this data, I would then re-encrypt the data through a new function :

Encrypt(Email(MyPublicKey, AppPublicKey, 2ndAppPublicKey)) 

Now the 2nd application has the same access than me and the first application to this data.

Then If I want to revoke the 1st application access, I would re-encrypt the data excluding the 1st application private key as solution of the function as

Encrypt(Email(MyPublicKey, 2ndAppPublicKey)) 

So, the 1st application cannot access to the data anymore as its private Key is not solution anymore of the encryption function.

Is it a known cryptographic scheme (like custom shared secret)? Does such mathematical function exist? What it would look like? Maybe there is a simpler solution I didn't see...

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If someone once had access to the data he could simply store the data and there is nothing you can do if the data stays the same after revocation. But if the data changes, you may prevent future access to the new version of the data. You may look into lazy revocation and key rotation, e.g., here. –  DrLecter Aug 30 '14 at 21:42
Yes of course the application can store it, as long as you have decided as user to let the application access it there is no problem (Like todays connect with Facebook or Connect with Google for instance). and Yes I want to prevent future access to data and updates of it like today we do with OAuth protocol on the web but for encrypted data. Thanks for the link. I will check it out. –  Janus Aug 30 '14 at 22:49

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