Tag Archive | Google Latitude

Protecting Location Privacy Against Inference Attacks

Kazuhiro Minami and Nikita Borisov, 2010. Protecting location privacy against inference attacks. In Proceedings of the 9th annual ACM workshop on Privacy in the electronic society (2010), pp. 123-126.

GPS-enabled mobile devices are a quickly growing market and users are starting to share their location information with each other through services such as Google Latitude. Location information, however, is very privacy-sensitive, since it can be used to infer activities, preferences, relationships, and other personal information, and thus access to it must be carefully protected. The situation is complicated by the possibility of inferring a users’ location information from previous (or even future) movements. We argue that such inference means that traditional access control models that make a binary decision on whether a piece of information is released or not are not sufficient, and new policies must be designed that ensure that private information is not revealed either directly or through inference. We provide a formal definition of location privacy that incorporates an adversary’s ability to predict location and discuss possible implementation of access control mechanisms that satisfy this definition. To support our reasoning, we analyze a preliminary data set to evaluate the accuracy of location prediction.

To track down this article, visit CiteULike: Protecting location privacy against inference attacks.


2012 ASPRS special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues

Title: ASPRS special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues

The GIS Division is organizing two special session in Error/Accuracy Assessment and LBS Privacy Issues for the 2012 ASPRS national conference in Sacramento, CA. We are now collecting abstracts for these sessions.

Error/Accuracy Assessment:

One of the major problems of using geo-spatial data is the availability of data and information at multiple spatial scales or resolutions and temporal scales. The end result of using multi-scale data/information is getting varying amount of error in final outcomes. In order to increase accuracy of the final product, it is imperative to know the error amount associated with final outcomes depending upon the scale used in a study.

The purpose of this session is to increase awareness about sources and causes of error when using multi-scale geo-spatial data, and to introduce methods existing to reduce error or establish a functional relationship between scale and error to garner knowledge about error variance associated with scale change.

Location Privacy:

Advancement in geo-spatial technologies has enabled collection and generation of a large amount of geospatial data. Recently there has been an explosion of location-based services (LBS), which use these spatial data to provide location information about an individual’s or vehicle’s location accurately and precisely. Location-based services singularly do not violate personal information but by coordinating location with other types of information, such as an individual’s address, these services can provide personal information to a third party, thereby leading to location privacy violation. Given the recent popularity of location-based services (e.g., smart phones, Twitter’s location API, Google Latitude, etc.), it is imperative to understand the causes and consequences of location privacy violation both in terms of research advancements and legal implications.

Papers are invited in both sessions. If you would like to contribute to this stream of sessions, please contact us (Contact information is below)

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is August 1, 2011. Finally, please forward this announcement to colleagues that may be interested.

Additional information regarding the conference may be found at:


Contact Information:

David Alvarez  Davidalvarez76 [at] gmail [dot] com

Dr Bandana Kar  Bandana [dot] Kar [at] usm [dot] edu

We look forward to seeing everyone in 2012



Cellphones Track Your Every Move, and You May Not Even Know

By Noam Cohan, NYT, March 26, 2011

A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location: services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game. … Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts. The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. …

For full text of the article, visit Cellphones Track Your Every Move, and You May Not Even Know – NYTimes.com.

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