ABAKA: A novel attribute-based k-anonymous collaborative solution for LBSs

Tooska Dargahi, Moreno Ambrosin, Mauro Conti*, N. Asokan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing use of mobile devices, along with advances in telecommunication systems, increased the popularity of Location-Based Services (LBSs). In LBSs, users share their exact location with a potentially untrusted Location-Based Service Provider (LBSP). In such a scenario, user privacy becomes a major concern: the knowledge about user location may lead to her identification as well as a continuous tracing of her position. Researchers proposed several approaches to preserve users' location privacy. They also showed that hiding the location of an LBS user is not enough to guarantee her privacy, i.e., user's profile attributes or background knowledge of an attacker may reveal the user's identity. In this paper we propose ABAKA, a novel collaborative approach that provides identity privacy for LBS users considering users' profile attributes. In particular, our solution guarantees p-sensitive k-anonymity for the user that sends an LBS request to the LBSP. ABAKA computes a cloaked area by collaborative multi-hop forwarding of the LBS query, and using Ciphertext-Policy Attribute-Based Encryption (CP-ABE). We ran a thorough set of experiments to evaluate our solution: the results confirm the feasibility and efficiency of our proposal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ciphertext-policy attribute-based encryption
  • k-anonymity
  • Location-based services
  • p-sensitivity
  • Privacy

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