Privacy-Preserving Location-Based Advertising via Longitudinal Geo-Indistinguishability

IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing(2023)

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As location data have been increasingly adopted in location-based advertising (LBA), revealing locations to untrusted service providers has raised severe privacy concerns. Recent studies propose obfuscation mechanisms built upon geo-indistinguishability (geo-IND) to provide formal privacy guarantee. Unfortunately, due to the high degree of spatiotemporal regularity in human mobility pattern, the privacy cost will be unacceptably high in this situation, leading to accurate inference of user real locations. In this study, we identify this privacy risk in LBA scenarios under long-term and multi-platform assumption. We demonstrate an attacker can infer 75%∼90% of top-1 locations within a range of only 200 meters. To address it, we propose PrivLocAd , a novel system which can provide longitudinal privacy guarantee. The novelty of PrivLocAd stems from a novel surrogate-based obfuscation, which generates multiple surrogate locations to improve the privacy-utility trade-off. In addition, two novel obfuscation mechanisms, the two-stage Gaussian and multi-level surrogate generation mechanism in charge of surrogate generation can achieve the longitudinal privacy guarantee in intra- and inter-platform condition respectively. Our experimental results demonstrate PrivLocAd is able to defend against the attack, which reduces the inference rate to less than 1% of user top-1 locations in the 200 meter range.
Location-Based Advertising,Location Privacy,Differential Privacy,Geo-Indistinguishablity
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