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10/24/2006 - Toward Scalable and Privacy-Aware Location-Based Services in Transportation

The widespread use of cellular phones, handheld devices, and GPS-related technology enables location-based services where virtually all objects are aware of their locations. Examples of location-based services include location-based store finders, location-based advertising, and traffic reports. This talk will focus on two main aspects of location-based services: scalability and privacy. In terms of scalability, current location-based services deal with each user as an individual entity, an approach which limits the applicability of location-based services to a small number of users. This talk presents a novel paradigm in which multiple users share the query execution within the location-based server. In terms of privacy, current location-based services suffer from a major privacy weakness in that users must continuously report their locations to the server in order to obtain the service. When dealing with untrusted servers, this reporting may expose users to several privacy threats. As an alternative, this talk will present Casper, a new framework in which mobile and stationary users can take advantage of location-based services without revealing their location information.

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