Toshiba Applies Quantum Cryptography Secure Tra
Personal genetic information is highly protected in Japan and Toshiba has used quantum cryptography to transmit genome sequence data.
Working with Tohoku University, Toshiba collected genome data from 24 people and transmitted it roughly 7 km over cables between a company site and the university in Miyagi Prefecture.
The data was transmitted over fiber-optic cables developed by
Toshiba. Photons were used to send both the encrypted data and the key necessary to decode. Any attempt to illicitly read the data would alter the quantum state of the photons, serving notice that the attempt was made and eliminating the threat of information leaking.
Unlike current quantum computing technology, which often requires temperatures near absolute zero, Toshiba's encryption equipment can operate at room temperature.
Keeping fast transmission speeds in quantum cryptography poses a challenge as distances grow because photons lose energy. To overcome this, data was transmitted while being encrypted in small segments rather than all at once. In the test, sending the entire genome data took less than two minutes after it was analyzed.