Date of Award

Spring 2009

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

First Advisor

Ahamed, Sheikh I.

Second Advisor

Madiraju, Praveen

Third Advisor

Ge, Rong

Abstract

Location-awareness is an emerging field of research that aims to design and develop a safe computing model for storing and exchanging location-based data. Advances in location-detection, wireless and mobile technologies, combined with the remarkable widespread of handheld devices have all contributed to the rapid proliferation of location-awareness. Obtaining location-based data is an integral part of any location-aware application; this process discovers Points of Interest in the client's vicinity and provides localized information. However, the convenience poses a security risk by exposing the client 's location. The traditional security and privacy approaches are not applicable in this scenario due to the dynamic distribution of users in space and the client's need to expose a certain degree of location accuracy in order to receive meaningful results. In this thesis, we attempt to address these challenges by presenting an innovative approach for location privacy management using location obfuscation. The approach is based on our belief at location privacy should be managed by the client without relying on third party systems, such as the Location Anonymizer. The framework is autonomous, secure, and transparent, operates with no loss in result accuracy and ensures privacy under any distribution of users in space. We have evaluated our approach by conducting experiments and simulations on a proof of concept implementation.

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