Zero Knowledge Proofs: Privacy Boost for Centralized Services.

Compozite Research.
5 min readJul 8, 2023



Centralized services hold a key position in our day-to-day existence, whether it’s the social media platforms we scroll through or the online banking we rely on, these services gather and hoard massive troves of our personal data. Consequently, the centralized nature of these services raises concerns about privacy and data security.

Recently, some data breaches and privacy violations have made headlines exposing the vulnerabilities of centralized services. In 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, suffered a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of approximately 147 million individuals. This breach included names, social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses, leaving millions of people vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.

Centralized services also raise concerns about data misuse and unauthorized access. Companies often collect vast amounts of user data, including browsing history, location information, and behavioral patterns. This data is then used for targeted advertising, profiling users, and even sold to third parties without the users’ explicit consent. In 2018, it was revealed that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica had collected personal data from millions of Facebook users without their consent. This data was then used for targeted political advertising during the 2016 United States presidential election, raising concerns about privacy and data manipulation.

The above incidents show how the users have no control over their own data. They not only lead to financial losses but also jeopardize individuals’ privacy and can result in identity theft and fraud.

The growing data breaches and concurrent losses, users in 21st century need enhanced privacy protection and control over the usage of their own data. This is where zero knowledge proofs come into the picture.

Zero knowledge proofs are cryptographic protocols that allow one party (the prover) to prove to another party (the verifier) that a statement is true, without revealing any additional information. In simpler terms, zero knowledge proofs enable someone to prove they know something without revealing what they know.

How ZKPs Enhance Privacy in Centralized Services?

Authentication and Access Control

ZKPs can revolutionize the way we authenticate users and control access to sensitive information. Traditional authentication methods often require users to share their passwords or other personal data, which can be compromised in data breaches.

By implementing zero knowledge proofs, centralized services can enable password less authentication. Users can prove their identity without revealing their actual credentials, making it significantly more difficult for attackers to gain unauthorized access.

Secure and Private Access Control Mechanisms

In addition to authentication, zero knowledge proofs can enhance access control mechanisms. With zero knowledge proofs, a user can prove that they possess certain credentials or attributes without disclosing the specific details.

For example, a person could prove they are above a certain age without revealing their exact date of birth. This enables personalized services and targeted advertising without compromising privacy.

Data Sharing and Verification

Centralized services often require sharing and verification of data, such as medical records in healthcare or financial transactions in banking. Zero knowledge proofs allow for confidential data sharing and verification without exposing sensitive information.

For instance, in healthcare, zero knowledge proofs can enable secure sharing of patient data between healthcare providers. Medical researchers can perform analysis on the data without accessing the individual patient’s records, ensuring privacy while still facilitating research.

Verifying Data Integrity Without Revealing Sensitive Information

It enables data integrity verification without revealing the actual data. This is particularly valuable in situations where sensitive information needs to be audited or verified.

In financial services, for example, zero knowledge proofs can be used to prove the correctness of transactions without disclosing the transaction details. This ensures privacy while maintaining the necessary level of trust in the system.

Identity Protection and Anonymity

Zero knowledge proofs can provide robust identity protection and enable anonymity in transactions and interactions. Individuals can prove their identity without revealing unnecessary personal information.

In centralized services like social media, this can help protect user identities from being linked to specific activities or posts. Similarly, in financial transactions, zero knowledge proofs can enable anonymous transactions, safeguarding the privacy of individuals involved.

ZKPs: The Good and the Not-So-Good

Zero knowledge proofs offer several advantages when it comes to privacy in centralized services. Firstly, they provide a way to authenticate users and control access to sensitive information without disclosing unnecessary details.

Additionally, zero knowledge proofs enable secure and private data sharing. They allow parties to verify the integrity of data without revealing the actual data itself, ensuring privacy while still maintaining trust.

However, it’s important to note that zero knowledge proofs are not a silver bullet solution. They have limitations in terms of computational complexity and scalability. Implementing zero knowledge proofs in real-world systems requires careful consideration of performance, integration with existing infrastructure, and user acceptance.

Reinventing Centralized Services with ZKPs

By incorporating ZKPs into authentication and access control mechanisms, centralized services can enhance privacy and security. For example, Password less authentication using ZKPs, eliminates the need for storing user passwords, reducing the risk of password leaks and unauthorized access. It also enables secure and private access control mechanisms, such as multi-factor authentication and attribute-based access control, ensuring that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.

Furthermore, for confidential data sharing and verification, ZKPs are capable to address the concerns of data misuse and unauthorized access. Individuals can share data with confidence, knowing that their sensitive information remains hidden. Data integrity can be verified without revealing any underlying sensitive information.

In financial services, ZKPs also enable anonymity in transactions and interactions. It facilitates secure identity verification in financial institutions, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.

Healthcare industry can take advantage of ZKPs to enable confidentiality while sharing patient data between healthcare providers and ensuring privacy while improving collaboration and research. This allows the researchers to analyze sensitive health data without compromising patient privacy.

Similarly in government and public services ZKPs can be utilized in secure and private voting systems. This can ensure the integrity of elections while preserving voter anonymity. It can also enable the confidential sharing of sensitive government information, such as intelligence reports or classified documents, without compromising national security.

In the next post, we will get into the details of how zero knowledge proofs can enhance privacy and integrity in the field of Entertainment and media where we consistently see users suffer from disturbing trolls, deep fake, propaganda through fake news and identity theft. Stay tuned!



Compozite Research.

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