Quantum cryptography represents one of the most powerfully secure communication systems that science can conceive of, relying on the underpinnings of quantum mechanics to obscure data from those you don’t want seeing it.
What if there were a data network built on these principles?
It’s an idea called the quantum Internet, and we caught up with Professor Alex Lvovsky at the International Conference on quantum computing in Moscow to find out what it’s all about.
“The Internet we use every day is very fast but not very secure. A quantum Internet would be slower, but much more secure,” he said.
It becomes a calculation of convenience versus security – which do you prefer?
During the course of our conversation, Lvovsky hypothesized about a merging of the two.
“It’s entirely realistic that we may be able to use the regular Internet by default and switch over to quantum when we need to transmit sensitive data like a credit card number. There’s no reason the two couldn’t interact like that.”
Quantum data transmission is so secure because the data is altered as soon as it’s seen by an unauthorised party. This means that all the personal data we put out there on a regular basis could become much more difficult for people to steal when the quantum Internet becomes a reality.