Anonymous Fingerprinting

Fingerprinting schemes deter people from illegally redistributing digital data by enabling the original merchant of the data to identify the original buyer of a redistributed copy. Recently, asymmetric fingerprinting schemes were introduced. Here, only the buyer knows the fingerprinted copy after a sale, and if the merchant finds this copy somewhere, he obtains a proof that it was the copy of this particular buyer. A problem with all previous fingerprinting schemes arises in the context of electronic marketplaces where untraceable electronic cash offers buyers privacy similar to that when buying books or music in normal shops with normal cash. Now buyers would have to identify themselves solely for the purpose of fingerprinting. To remedy this, we introduce and costruct anonymous asymmetric fingerprinting schemes, where buyers can buy information anonymously, but can nevertheless be identified if they redistribute this information illegally. A subresult of independent interest is an asymmetric fingerprinting protocol with reasonable collusion-tolerance and 2-party trials, which have several practical advantages over the previous 3-party trials. Our results can also be applied to so-called traitor tracing, the equivalent of fingerprinting for broadcast encryption.

By: B. Pfitzmann (Univ. Hildesheim, Germany) and M. Waidner

Published in: Advances in Cryptology, volume 1233, (no ), pages 88-1 in 1996

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