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Journal of Information Science and Engineering, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 335-350 (March 2012)

Dummy-Based Schemes for Protecting Movement Trajectories

1Chung Cheng Institute of Technology
National Defense University
Taoyuan, 334 Taiwan
2Department of Computer Science
National Chiao Tung University
Hsinchu, 300 Taiwan
3Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
Ching Yun University
Chungli, 320 Taiwan

Dummy-based anonymization techniques for protecting the location privacy of mobile users have appeared in the literature. By generating dummies that move in humanlike trajectories, this approach shows that the location privacy of mobile users can be preserved. However, the trajectories of mobile users can still be exposed by monitoring the long-term movement patterns of users. We argue that, once the trajectory of a user is identified, the locations of the user are exposed. Thus, it is critical to protect the movement trajectories of mobile users in order to preserve user location privacy. We propose two schemes that generate consistent movement patterns in the long run. Guided by three parameters in a user specified privacy profile, namely, short-term disclosure, long-term disclosure and distance deviation, the proposed schemes derive movement trajectories for dummies. The experimental results show that our proposed schemes are more effective than existing works in protecting movement trajectories.

Keywords: location privacy, user movement patterns, location-based services, trajectory pattern protection, dummy-based anonymization

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Received April 7, 2010; revised December 28, 2010; accepted February 11, 2011.
Communicated by Vincent S. Tseng.