Privacy-Preserving and Content-Protecting Location Based Queries

Privacy-Preserving and Content-Protecting Location Based  Queries

In this paper we present a solution to one of the location-based query problems. This problem is defined as follows: (i) a user wants to query a database of location data, known as Points Of Interest (POI), and does not want to reveal his/her location to the server due to privacy concerns, (ii) the owner of thelocation data, that is, the location server, does not want to simply distribute its data to all users. Thelocation server desires to have some control over its data, since the data is its asset. Previous solutions have used a trusted anonymiser to address privacy, but introduced the impracticality of trusting a third party. More recent solutions have used homomorphic encryption to remove this weakness. Briefly, the user submits his/her encrypted coordinates to the server and the server would determine the user’s location homomorphically, and then the user would acquire the corresponding record using Private Information Retrieval techniques. We propose a major enhancement upon this result by introducing a similar two stage approach, where the homomorphic comparison step is replaced with Oblivious Transfer to achieve a more secure solution for both parties. The solution we present is efficient and practical in many scenarios. We also include the results of a working prototype to illustrate the efficiency of our protocol.

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