Collaborating Authors

Geographic Differential Privacy for Mobile Crowd Coverage Maximization

AAAI Conferences

For real-world mobile applications such as location-based advertising and spatial crowdsourcing, a key to success is targeting mobile users that can maximally cover certain locations in a future period. To find an optimal group of users, existing methods often require information about users' mobility history, which may cause privacy breaches. In this paper, we propose a method to maximize mobile crowd's future location coverage under a guaranteed location privacy protection scheme. In our approach, users only need to upload one of their frequently visited locations, and more importantly, the uploaded location is obfuscated using a geographic differential privacy policy. We propose both analytic and practical solutions to this problem. Experiments on real user mobility datasets show that our method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art geographic differential privacy methods by achieving a higher coverage under the same level of privacy protection.

How to stop your smartphone from tracking your every move, sharing data and sending ads

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Learning to trust your children as they grow up in a world of cell phones, social media and all the other IRL threats, is hard. Your phone knows where you are standing or sitting at this moment. How else could you use GPS? While location tracking is essential for directions, it also helps big tech sell you things. "Targeted advertising" is a massive phenomenon.

Apple adds secure emergency location features to get ahead of smartphones' 911 problems


Apple made a big deal about our digital well-being when it unveiled iOS 12 at WWDC, but there's one feature it didn't discuss that could have even greater life-saving benefits. In a press release Monday, the company outlined how iPhones running iOS 12 will be able to share location data automatically and securely with first responders when you dial 911. Apple says this will help reduce emergency response times by providing faster and more accurate information that circumvents "outdated, landline-era infrastructure." According to the release, roughly 80 percent of all 911 calls come from mobile devices, which shouldn't come as a surprise. What may surprise some people is that it's still difficult for emergency responders to pinpoint someone who calls 911 via cell phone.

After probe, Google clarifies erroneous location-tracking policy

The Japan Times

SAN FRANCISCO – Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they have disabled the setting. The change came three days after an AP investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off the setting. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard. But its help page for the "Location History" setting now states: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device." It also acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps."

Google sued over tracking locations even when 'Location History' is off


Last week, a bombshell AP investigation found that Google was still tracking iPhone and Android device users, even if they turned off the "Location History" setting. Now, the first lawsuit has been filed against the search engine giant over this issue, according to documents posted by Ars Technica. SEE ALSO: Google tracks you even if you turn off'location history': report On Friday, attorneys representing the plaintiff, Napoleon Patacsil from San Diego, filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco. The lawsuit is looking to establish an "iPhone class" and an "Android class" in its desire to obtain class action status. This could potentially affect millions of users -- anyone who uses either an iPhone or Android device and had turned off Location History yet were still tracked by Google.