A Heuristic Algorithm for Mobility-aware Location Obfuscation

Mobile users not only use on-demand location-based services increasingly (e.g., checking in on online social networks), but also other mobile applications that provide a service based on location traces of users (e.g., fitness tracking, health monitoring, etc.). This type of continuous tracking of user location introduces specific challenges to protection of location-privacy of mobile users. One of the challenges is ensuring the preservation of privacy levels of user location over time. Also, it is essential to build a location obfuscation area that results in high confusion for an adversary. In this paper, we address these challenges by proposing and evaluating a heuristic obfuscation algorithm that is mobility aware. Specifically, our heuristic algorithm reasons about a user's next location by taking into account user mobility history and direction of movement. Our experiments show that our approach outperforms a mobility-agnostic random obfuscation mechanism.


 Record created 2016-09-26, last modified 2018-03-17

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