The concept of Oblivious RAM (ORAM) was first introduced by Oded Goldreich and Rafail Ostrovsky in 1996. However, in the past 5-10 years there has been a surge in the amount of research that looks into various realizations, optimizations and implementations of ORAM. My questions are two-fold:
Although ORAM was introduced around two decades earlier, why is there a sudden spike in the interest of ORAM by the research community?
Various applications of ORAM have been put forth, which includes: secure computation, data-outsourcing and secure processors. Is ORAM currently being employed in any real world systems for an application that it was intended for? If yes, please provide me with some reference.