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7 - Location privacy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

James Kempf
Affiliation:
DoCoMo Labs USA, Palo Alto, California
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Summary

Users of wireless Internet services have a reasonable expectation that their activities are protected from eavesdropping and snooping by attackers even when confidentiality protection is not in use. All Internet traffic contains identifiers that allow application, transport, and network protocols to keep track of important entities and interactions. From a technical standpoint, privacy means that these identities are not traceable back to information allowing an eavesdropper to identify the user. If the identities are additionally masked from one or both endpoints in the protocols, then the communication is also anonymous. Privacy and anonymity are important security properties for certain types of transactions, and are different from confidentiality discussed in Chapter 1. The contents of a communication between two hosts can be protected by encryption to provide confidentiality from eavesdropping, while the identities of the two hosts are still exposed through unencrypted information necessary for routing. For wireless Internet communication, location privacy means that the geographic location of a particular wireless terminal cannot be inferred from the contents of the terminal's traffic or from unencrypted identifiers. As for general privacy, location anonymity means that the location is masked from endpoints as well as from eavesdroppers. Location privacy and location anonymity are issues for fixed terminals too, but because users typically carry wireless terminals with them, the risk for users is larger with wireless terminals.

In the next section, we briefly discuss the threat against general privacy of communications on the Internet and specific threats against location privacy for wireless terminals.

Type
Chapter
Information
Wireless Internet Security
Architecture and Protocols
, pp. 169 - 198
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Location privacy
  • James Kempf
  • Book: Wireless Internet Security
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511754739.008
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  • Location privacy
  • James Kempf
  • Book: Wireless Internet Security
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511754739.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Location privacy
  • James Kempf
  • Book: Wireless Internet Security
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511754739.008
Available formats
×