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A middleware enforcing location privacy in mobile platform

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Emerging indoor positioning and WiFi infrastructure enable building apps with numerous Location-based Services (LBS) that represent critical threats to smartphone users’ location privacy provoking continuous tracking, profiling and unauthorized identification. Currently, the app eco-system relies on permission-based access control, which is proven ineffective at controlling how third party apps and/or library developers use and share users’ data. In this paper we present the design, deployment and evaluation of PL-Protector, a location privacy-enhancing middleware, which through a caching technique minimises the interaction and data collection from wireless access points, content distributors and location providers. PL-Protector also provides a new series of control settings and privacy rules over both, the information and control flows between sources and sinks, to prevent user information disclosure during LBS queries. We implement PL-Protector on Android 6, and conduct experiments with real apps from five different categories of location-based services such as instant messaging and navigation. Experiments demonstrate acceptable delay overheads (lower than 22 ms) within practical limits; hence, our middleware is practical, secure and efficient for location-demanding apps.




Patel, A., & Palomar, E. (2017). A middleware enforcing location privacy in mobile platform. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 10442 LNCS, pp. 32–45). Springer Verlag.

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