Technischer Bericht TR-2015-02

Riaz, Zohaib; Rothermel, Kurt: On the Privacy of Frequently Visited User Locations.
Universität Stuttgart, Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik, Technischer Bericht Informatik Nr. 2015/02.
11 Seiten, englisch.
CR-Klassif.K.4.1 (Computers and Society Public Policy Issues)
C.2.4 (Distributed Systems)
KeywordsPrivacy concerns Location privacy Frequency Profile Visit frequency Frequent locations Semantic locations Location based services Mobility Model Machine Learning

With the fast adoption of location-enabled devices, Location-based Applications (LBAs) are becoming increasingly popular. While LBAs enable highly useful concepts such as geo-social networking, their use raises privacy concerns as it involves sharing of location data with non-trusted third parties. In this respect, we propose to protect frequently visited semantic locations of users, e.g., a bar or a church, against inference from long-term monitoring of user location data. Such inference equates a privacy leak as it reveals users' personal interests to possibly malicious third parties.

To this end, we first present a study of a dataset of location check-ins to show the existence of this threat among users of LBAs. We then propose a method to protect visit-frequency of users to different locations by distributing their location data among multiple third-party Location Servers. This distribution not only serves to avoid a single point of failure in our system, it also allows the user to control which LBA accesses what information about them. We also describe a number of possible attacks against our frequency-protection approach and evaluate them on real-data from the check-ins dataset. Our results show that our approach can effectively avoid inference while supporting good quality-of-service for the LBAs.

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Abteilung(en)Universität Stuttgart, Institut für Parallele und Verteilte Systeme, Verteilte Systeme
Eingabedatum1. Oktober 2015
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