Location-based services (LBSs) assume that users are willing to release trustworthy and useful details about their whereabouts. However, many location privacy concerns have arisen. For location privacy protection, several algorithms build a cloaking region to hide a user’s location. However, many applications may not operate adequately on cloaked locations. For example, a traditional distance bounding protocol (DBP)—which is run by two nodes called the prover and the verifier—may conclude an untight and useless distance between these two entities. An LBS (verifier) may use this distance as a metric of usefulness and trustworthiness of the location claimed by the user (prover). However, we show that if a tight distance is desired, traditional DBP can refine a user’s cloaked location and compromise its location privacy. To find a proper balance, we propose a location-privacy-aware DBP protocol. Our solution consists of adding some small delays before submitting any user’s response. We show that several issues arise when a certain delay is chosen, and we propose some solutions. The effectiveness of our techniques in balancing location refinement and utility is demonstrated through simulation.
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