An Efficient, Anonymous and Unlinkable Incentives Scheme

An Efficient, Anonymous and Unlinkable Incentives Scheme

Milica Milutinovic (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium), Andreas Put (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) and Bart De Decker (KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/IJISP.2015070101


Incentives systems, such as loyalty schemes or reputation systems, are a popular way to encourage user actions or build a user-service provider relationship. In this paper, the authors describe uCentive, a privacy-preserving incentives scheme that allows users to earn and redeem incentives that cannot be linked to their identities or actions. In addition, users can prove ownership of their incentives without breaking unlinkability guarantees. uCentive also supports forward unlinkability – even if the user's secrets are compromised, they cannot be linked to previous user's actions.
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The Ucentive Scheme

The uCentive scheme allows unlinkable and anonymous transactions of incentives, or uCents. uCent is a signed structure that contains an incentive description and a hidden, but provable link to the intended owner. The incentive specification includes its value, but also limitations on its usage, such as the expiry date. This allows the providers to utilise uCentive for multiple incentive schemes deployed in parallel with configurable policies. See Figure 1 for an example of uCentive architecture.

The uCentive stakeholders are:

  • Users or individuals who are utilising the scheme to be issued with incentives by the service providers. They are equipped with a smartphone with an installed uCentive application. To participate in the uCentive scheme, they register to obtain an anonymous credential;

  • Registration authority (RA) is a certification authority that issues uCentive credentials to the users and is trusted by the users and the collaborating providers. Every RA is equipped with a credential-issuance key pair, the public key of which is certified and made available to other parties;

  • Issuance service provider (ISP) is an entity that issues incentives to the users. Every issuance service provider authority is equipped with an incentives-issuance key pair, the public key of which is certified and made available to other parties;

  • Redemption service provider (RSP) is an entity with which users can spend their incentives and obtain specified benefits in return. RSPs accept incentives that were issued by ISPs who participate in the same incentives scheme.

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