On the Effect of Update Frequency on Geo-Indistinguishability of Mobility Traces



Sharing location data is becoming more popular as mobile devices become ubiquitous. Location-based service providers use this type of data to provide geographically contextualized services to their users. However, sharing exact locations with possibly untrustworthy entities poses a thread to privacy. Geo-indistinguishability has been recently proposed as a formal notion based on the concept of differential privacy to design location privacy-preserving mechanisms in the context of sporadic release of location data. While adaptations for the case of continuous location updates have been proposed, the study on how the frequency of updates impacts the privacy and utility level is yet to be made. In this paper we address this issue, by analyzing the effect of frequency updates on the privacy and utility levels of four mechanisms: the standard planar Laplacian mechanism suitable for sparse locations, and three variants of an adaptive mechanism that is an adaptation of the standard mechanism for continuous location updates. Results show that the frequency of updates largely impacts the correlation between points. As the frequency of updates decreases, the correlation also decreases. The adaptive mechanism is able to adjust the privacy and utility levels accordingly to the correlation between past positions and current position. However, the estimator function that is used to predict the current location has a great influence in the obtained results.

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SWING2 - Securing Wireless Networks with Coding and Jamming


ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks (WiSec), June 2018

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