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Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Prof. Christof Paar
Prof. Wayne P. Burleson
Prof. Brian N. Levine
The operation of our society heavily relies on high mobility of people. Not only our social life but also our economy and trade are built upon a system where people need to be able to move around easily. The costs for building and maintaining a suitable transportation infrastructure to satisfy those needs are high, and to charge users is thus a central requirement. This calls for well functioning payment systems satisfying the multitude of requirements that transportation systems impose on them.
Electronic payment systems have many benefits over traditional cash payments as they are easy to maintain, can be more secure, reduce revenue collection costs, and can reduce the execution time of a payment. However, as a drawback, currently employed electronic payment systems usually reveal a payer’s identity during a payment which greatly infringes customer privacy. In the transportation domain this allows to generate fine grain patterns of customers’ locations.
Cryptographic payment protocols called e-cash have been proposed which allow to preserve a customer’s privacy. E-cash provides provable guarantees for both security and user privacy, as it allows secure, unlinkable payments which do not reveal the identity of the payer during a payment. From a security and privacy perspective these protocols present a good solution. However, even though e-cash protocols have been proposed three decades ago, there are relatively few actual implementations. One reason for this is their high computational complexity which makes an implementation on potential mobile payment devices rather difficult. While customers usually value their privacy they often do not accept to sacrifice convenience. A fast execution of payments is thus a hard constraint, which conflicts with the computational complexity of e-cash schemes.
This dissertation analyzes how e-cash can be used to solve the issue of privacy in the domain of transportation payments while satisfying the unique requirements of transportation payment systems and achieving high security and ease of use. Highlyefficient implementations of the underlying cryptographic primitives of e-cash schemes on constrained devices as they might be used in the transportation setting are presented. Based on the efficient implementations of these primitives, e-cash schemes are analyzed with regards to speed and hardware requirements. The results show that e-cash presents a good solution for privacy-preserving payments in the domain of public transport, if the number of coins that have to be spent can be limited. It is further practically shown that this limitation can be alleviated relying on the e-cash based privacy-preserving pre-payments with refunds scheme (P4R). Moreover, it is demonstrated that the promising feature of supporting the encoding of user attributes into electronic coins can be implemented at only moderate extra cost. Finally, an ecash based e-mobility payment scheme is presented which highlights the flexibility and unique advantages of e-cash based transportation payment schemes.
Hinterwalder, Gesine, "Privacy-preserving Payments for Transportation Systems" (2015). Doctoral Dissertations. 527.