A General Review on Location Based Services (LBS) Privacy Protection Using Centralized and Decentralized Approaches with Potential of Having a Hybrid Approach

  • Bessam A. Adem, Maen Alrashdan, Mohamed Abdulnabi, Ayman Jaradat, Mohammad Tubishat, Waheed Ali Ghanem, Yusnita Yusof


The online  world is expanding with new features added frequently, new data generated exponentially, many users joining regularly and new services offered globally. Thus, sifting through such gigantic volumes of data to locate one’s needs makes better sense if it is based on the user’s current location. A person searching for list of amusement parks in Malaysia is not interested in those found halfway around the globe to be included in the search results. Similarly, online content that is meant to be available only to paid customers in Ethiopia should not be accessible by anyone elsewhere. Accordingly, online data processing and distribution has become vital and needs to be context-based. The core challenge in such an environment occurs when an adversary attempts to take advantage of users and/or service providers’ vulnerabilities by either invading privacy of others or utilizing services they are not entitled to. In this paper, numerous concerns raised by LBS users and researchers are studied in great detail. Some of the major faults in LBS have been identified. The objectives of this research are to rigorously study and identify threats in LBS, propose enhanced framework and finally present the significance of the new approach. Previous studies focus on either centralized or decentralized LBS framework to protect users. This paper focuses on the combination of these two frameworks in order to benefit from the best aspects of each method. For this reason, an additional agent server to the general framework have been introduced in order to help eradicate the limited resources and vulnerability of smart devices thus creating safer location aware transactions among users and producers. The goal is to create a more secured environment for parties that will share location information without privacy breaches. Finally, the conclusion with summary of the findings, limitations and possible future enhancements.