1. Utility-Aware Synthesis of Differentially Private and Attack-Resilient Location Traces 2018 CCS DifferentialPrivacy Privacy
    Mehmet Emre Gursoy, Ling Liu, Stacey Truex, Lei Yu, and Wenqi Wei
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    author = {Gursoy, Mehmet Emre and Liu, Ling and Truex, Stacey and Yu, Lei and Wei, Wenqi},
    title = {Utility-Aware Synthesis of Differentially Private and Attack-Resilient Location Traces},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2018 ACM SIGSAC Conference on Computer and Communications Security},
    series = {CCS '18},
    year = {2018},
    isbn = {978-1-4503-5693-0},
    location = {Toronto, Canada},
    pages = {196--211},
    numpages = {16},
    url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/3243734.3243741},
    doi = {10.1145/3243734.3243741},
    acmid = {3243741},
    publisher = {ACM},
    address = {New York, NY, USA},
    keywords = {data privacy, location privacy, mobile computing},

As mobile devices and location-based services become increasingly ubiquitous, the privacy of mobile users’ location traces continues to be a major concern. Traditional privacy solutions rely on perturbing each position in a user’s trace and replacing it with a fake location. However, recent studies have shown that such point-based perturbation of locations is susceptible to inference attacks and suffers from serious utility losses, because it disregards the moving trajectory and continuity in full location traces. In this paper, we argue that privacy-preserving synthesis of complete location traces can be an effective solution to this problem. We present AdaTrace, a scalable location trace synthesizer with three novel features: provable statistical privacy, deterministic attack resilience, and strong utility preservation. AdaTrace builds a generative model from a given set of real traces through a four-phase synthesis process consisting of feature extraction, synopsis learning, privacy and utility preserving noise injection, and generation of differentially private synthetic location traces. The output traces crafted by AdaTrace preserve utility-critical information existing in real traces, and are robust against known location trace attacks. We validate the effectiveness of AdaTrace by comparing it with three state of the art approaches (ngram, DPT, and SGLT) using real location trace datasets (Geolife and Taxi) as well as a simulated dataset of 50,000 vehicles in Oldenburg, Germany. AdaTrace offers up to 3-fold improvement in trajectory utility, and is orders of magnitude faster than previous work, while preserving differential privacy and attack resilience.