Generates a data key that you can use in your application to locally encrypt data. This call returns a plaintext version of the key in the Plaintext field of the response object and an encrypted copy of the key in the CiphertextBlob field. The key is encrypted by using the master key specified by the KeyId field. To decrypt the encrypted key, pass it to the Decrypt API.

We recommend that you use the following pattern to locally encrypt data: call the GenerateDataKey API, use the key returned in the Plaintext response field to locally encrypt data, and then erase the plaintext data key from memory. Store the encrypted data key (contained in the CiphertextBlob field) alongside of the locally encrypted data.

You should not call the Encrypt function to re-encrypt your data keys within

a region. GenerateDataKey always returns the data key encrypted and tied to the customer master key that will be used to decrypt it. There is no need to decrypt it twice.

If you decide to use the optional EncryptionContext parameter, you must

also store the context in full or at least store enough information along with the encrypted data to be able to reconstruct the context when submitting the ciphertext to the Decrypt API. It is a good practice to choose a context that you can reconstruct on the fly to better secure the ciphertext. For more information about how this parameter is used, see Encryption Context (

To decrypt data, pass the encrypted data key to the Decrypt API. Decrypt uses the associated master key to decrypt the encrypted data key and returns it as plaintext. Use the plaintext data key to locally decrypt your data and then erase the key from memory. You must specify the encryption context, if any, that you specified when you generated the key. The encryption context is logged by CloudTrail, and you can use this log to help track the use of particular data.

GenerateDataKey is referenced in 4 repositories