Provably unlinkable smart card-based payments

Sergiu Bursuc, Ross Horne, Sjouke Mauw, Semen Yurkov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

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The most prevalent smart card-based payment method, EMV, currently offers no privacy to its users. Transaction details and the card number are sent in cleartext, enabling the profiling and tracking of cardholders. Since public awareness of privacy issues is growing and legislation, such as GDPR, is emerging, we believe it is necessary to investigate the possibility of making payments anonymous and unlinkable without compromising essential security guarantees and functional properties of EMV. This paper draws attention to trade-offs between functional and privacy requirements in the design of such a protocol. We present the UTX protocol - an enhanced payment protocol satisfying such requirements, and we formally certify key security and privacy properties using techniques based on the applied π-calculus.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCCS '23
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9798400700507
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2023
Event30th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2023 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 26 Nov 202330 Nov 2023


Conference30th ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security, CCS 2023


  • payment protocols
  • protocol design
  • security analysis


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