Enabling Location Privacy in Wireless Personal Area Networks

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Location privacy is one of the major security problems in a Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN). An eavesdropper can keep track of the place and time mobile devices are communicating. The hardware address of a device can often be linked to the identity of the user operating the mobile device; this represents a violation of the user's privacy. In this paper, we consider four communication scenarios and present several techniques to solve the location privacy problem in each of these scenarios. We will also show that these scenarios are related to each other. As mobile devices in a WPAN are typically operated by a user and energy constrained, we focused on user-friendliness and energy consumption during the design of our solutions.

Many popular manufacturers are fabricating devices that use Bluetooth tech- nology. That is why we will gear our techniques to Bluetooth, but the concept of our technical solutions can also be applied to all other types of Wireless Personal Area Networks. The Bluetooth wireless technology [3,4,9] realizes a low-cost, short-range, wireless voice- and data-connection through radio prop- agation. It operates on the media access control layer . With a normal an- tenna, the maximal range is about 10 m. Every time a Bluetooth wireless link is formed, it is within the context of a piconet. A piconet consists of at most 8 devices that occupy the same physical channel. In each piconet, there is exactly one master, the other devices are called slaves. In June 2000, the Bluetooth standard was included in IEEE 802.15 [12], the Wireless Personal Area Network Working Group. Download free LEnabling Location Privacy in Wireless Personal Area Networks.pdf here

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