Why have public key infrastructures failed so far?

Javier Lopez (Computer Science Department, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain)
Rolf Oppliger (eSECURITY Technologies, Gümligen, Switzerland)
Günther Pernul (Department of Information Systems, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Publication date: 1 December 2005



To overview and discuss the technical, economical, legal, and social reasons why public key infrastructures (PKIs) have failed so far, summarizing the lessons learned, and giving expectations about the future development of the field.


A detailed analysis of the developments in the PKI field, pointing out the achievements so far and the issues that still remain unsolved.


The possible reasons for the failure of PKI technology.


Identifies and analyses the problems of PKIs considering the different perspectives, i.e. not only the technical issues but also other issues like the economical, legal, and social issues that have also influenced the failure of PKIs.



Lopez, J., Oppliger, R. and Pernul, G. (2005), "Why have public key infrastructures failed so far?", Internet Research, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 544-556. https://doi.org/10.1108/10662240510629475

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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