Visible to the public Biblio

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Shokri, Reza, Theodorakopoulos, George, Troncoso, Carmela.  2016.  Privacy Games Along Location Traces: A Game-Theoretic Framework for Optimizing Location Privacy. ACM Trans. Priv. Secur.. 19:11:1–11:31.

The mainstream approach to protecting the privacy of mobile users in location-based services (LBSs) is to alter (e.g., perturb, hide, and so on) the users’ actual locations in order to reduce exposed sensitive information. In order to be effective, a location-privacy preserving mechanism must consider both the privacy and utility requirements of each user, as well as the user’s overall exposed locations (which contribute to the adversary’s background knowledge). In this article, we propose a methodology that enables the design of optimal user-centric location obfuscation mechanisms respecting each individual user’s service quality requirements, while maximizing the expected error that the optimal adversary incurs in reconstructing the user’s actual trace. A key advantage of a user-centric mechanism is that it does not depend on third-party proxies or anonymizers; thus, it can be directly integrated in the mobile devices that users employ to access LBSs. Our methodology is based on the mutual optimization of user/adversary objectives (maximizing location privacy versus minimizing localization error) formalized as a Stackelberg Bayesian game. This formalization makes our solution robust against any location inference attack, that is, the adversary cannot decrease the user’s privacy by designing a better inference algorithm as long as the obfuscation mechanism is designed according to our privacy games. We develop two linear programs that solve the location privacy game and output the optimal obfuscation strategy and its corresponding optimal inference attack. These linear programs are used to design location privacy–preserving mechanisms that consider the correlation between past, current, and future locations of the user, thus can be tuned to protect different privacy objectives along the user’s location trace. We illustrate the efficacy of the optimal location privacy–preserving mechanisms obtained with our approach against real location traces, showing their performance in protecting users’ different location privacy objectives.

Subahi, Alanoud, Theodorakopoulos, George.  2018.  Ensuring Compliance of IoT Devices with Their Privacy Policy Agreement. 2018 IEEE 6th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud (FiCloud). :100–107.
In the past few years, Internet of Things (IoT) devices have emerged and spread everywhere. Many researchers have been motivated to study the security issues of IoT devices due to the sensitive information they carry about their owners. Privacy is not simply about encryption and access authorization, but also about what kind of information is transmitted, how it used and to whom it will be shared with. Thus, IoT manufacturers should be compelled to issue Privacy Policy Agreements for their respective devices as well as ensure that the actual behavior of the IoT device complies with the issued privacy policy. In this paper, we implement a test bed for ensuring compliance of Internet of Things data disclosure to the corresponding privacy policy. The fundamental approach used in the test bed is to capture the data traffic between the IoT device and the cloud, between the IoT device and its application on the smart-phone, and between the IoT application and the cloud and analyze those packets for various features. We test 11 IoT manufacturers and the results reveal that half of those IoT manufacturers do not have an adequate privacy policy specifically for their IoT devices. In addition, we prove that the action of two IoT devices does not comply with what they stated in their privacy policy agreement.