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.