Attribute-based credentials for privacy-preserving road traffic

Privacy-preserving Smart CityAn interesting article “Assessment of attribute-based credentials for privacy-preserving road traffic services in smart cities” was published as part of the “Special issue on security and privacy for smart cities” by the “Personal and Ubiquitous Computing” peer-reviewed journal.

Article abstract: Smart cities involve the provision of advanced services for road traffic users. Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) are a promising communication technology in this regard. Preservation of privacy is crucial in these services to foster their acceptance. Previous approaches have mainly focused on PKI-based or ID-based cryptography. However, these works have not fully addressed the minimum information disclosure principle. Thus, questions such as how to prove that a driver is a neighbour of a given zone, without actually disclosing his identity or real address, remain unaddressed. A set of techniques, referred to as Attribute-Based Credentials (ABCs), have been proposed to address this need in traditional computation scenarios. In this paper, we explore the use of ABCs in the vehicular context. For this purpose, we focus on a set of use cases from European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Basic Set of Applications, specially appropriate for the early development of smart cities. We assess which ABC techniques are suitable for this scenario, focusing on three representative ones—Idemix, U-Prove and VANET-updated Persiano systems. Our experimental results show that they are feasible in VANETs considering state-of-the-art technologies, and that Idemix is the most promising technique for most of the considered use cases.

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