Privacy Enhanced Location Sharing for Mobile Online Social Networks

Junggab Son, Donghyun Kim, Md Zakirul Alam Bhuiyan, Rahman Tashakkori, Jungtaek Seo, Dong Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


As a primitive function of location-based services (LBSs), the location sharing aims to provide a user's current location information to other designated users. In recent years, LBSs have become one of the most popular services provided by mobile online social networks (mOSNs). As LBSs actively exploit the users' identity and current location information, appropriate approaches have to be utilized to protect the location privacy of the users. Several recent reports have discussed the significance of friendship privacy protection with the goal of hiding the friendship relation of users from unintended entities. However, to the best of our knowledge, there hasn't been an approach for protecting the location sharing with complete privacy of location and friendship connections. To address this issue, we propose a new cryptographic primitive, functional pseudonym, for location sharing in mOSNs that ensures both of them. Unlike many of the existing solutions, our approach does not require a fully trusted server and does not assume pre-established secrets among friends, and therefore is highly practical. Also, the proposed approach significantly reduces computational overhead of users by delegating part of the computations for location sharing to a server, therefore it is highly sustainable. Our primitive can be widely used in many mOSNs to enable LBSs with improved privacy and sustainability. Consequently, it will contribute to proliferate LBSs by eliminating users privacy concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8370740
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.


  • Location sharing
  • friendship privacy
  • functional pseudonyms
  • location privacy
  • mobile online social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Control and Optimization
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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