Location-Based Services (LBSs) are playing an increasingly important role in people’s daily activities nowadays. While enjoying the convenience provided by LBSs, users may lose privacy since they report their personal information to the untrusted LBS server. Although many approaches have been proposed to preserve users’ privacy, most of them just focus on the user’s location privacy, but do not consider the query privacy. Moreover, many existing approaches rely heavily on a trusted third-party (TTP) server, which may suffer from a single point of failure. To solve the problems above, in this paper we propose a Cache-Based Privacy-Preserving (CBPP) solution for users in LBSs. Different from the previous approaches, the proposed CBPP solution protects location privacy and query privacy simultaneously, while avoiding the problem of TTP server by having users collaborating with each other in a mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) environment. In the CBPP solution, each user keeps a buffer in his mobile device (e.g., smartphone) to record service data and acts as a micro TTP server. When a user needs LBSs, he sends a query to his neighbors first to seek for an answer. The user only contacts the LBS server when he cannot obtain the required service data from his neighbors. In this way, the user reduces the number of queries sent to the LBS server. We argue that the fewer queries are submitted to the LBS server, the less the user’s privacy is exposed. To users who have to send live queries to the LBS server, we employ the l-diversity, a powerful privacy protection definition that can guarantee the user’s privacy against attackers using background knowledge, to further protect their privacy. Evaluation results show that the proposed CBPP solution can effectively protect users’ location and query privacy with a lower communication cost and better quality of service.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited