Authors: Nour El Houda Senoussi; Abdelmalik Bachir; Abdelmadjid Bouabdallah
Addresses: LESIA Laboratory, Computer Science Department, Université de Biskra, BP 145 RP, Biskra 07000, Algeria ' Research Centre for Scientific and Technical Information, CERIST, Algiers, Algeria; Computer Science Department, Université de Biskra, BP 145 RP, Biskra 07000, Algeria ' Université de Technologie de Compiègne, Heudiasyc UMR CNRS 7253, 60205 Compiègne, France
Abstract: We deal with the threats to user privacy in the context of wireless local networks. We focus on location privacy where an adversary tries to learn a user's past and current locations. The current Wi-Fi standard is vulnerable to location privacy and mobility profiling attacks due to the transmission of personally identifying information such as the MAC address in plain text. We provide a generic mathematical model to quantify and express the privacy and elaborate a decentralised algorithm that allows users to attain their desired levels of privacy while lowering its effect on the QoS perceived by them. We evaluate our proposal with numerical simulation and mobility traces collected from Wi-Fi users in an office environment. We show that higher privacy can be obtained with a variable effect on the throughput available to users.
Keywords: location privacy; entropy; decentralised algorithms; quality of service; QoS; Wi-Fi; mobile networks; MAC addresses; information security.
International Journal of Information and Computer Security, 2021 Vol.15 No.2/3, pp.163 - 182
Received: 14 Sep 2017
Accepted: 24 May 2018
Published online: 09 Jul 2021 *