Cosmo Lupo and Seth Lloyd
Quantum data locking is a protocol that allows for a small secret key to (un)lock an exponentially larger amount of information, hence yielding the strongest violation of the classical one-time pad encryption in the quantum setting. This violation mirrors a large gap existing between two security criteria for quantum cryptography quantified by two entropic quantities: the Holevo information and the accessible information. We show that the latter becomes a sensible security criterion if an upper bound on the coherence time of the eavesdropper’s quantum memory is known. Under this condition, we introduce a protocol for secret key generation through a memoryless qudit channel. For channels with enough symmetry, such as the d-dimensional erasure and depolarizing channels, this protocol allows secret key generation at an asymptotic rate as high as the classical capacity minus one bit.