P4QS: A peer-To-peer privacy preserving query service for location-based mobile applications

Meysam Ghaffari, Nasser Ghadiri, Mohammad Hossein Manshaei, Mehran Sadeghi Lahijani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The location-based services provide an interesting combination of cyber and physical worlds. However, they can also threaten the users' privacy. Existing privacy preserving protocols require trusted nodes, with serious security and computational bottlenecks. In this paper, we propose a novel distributed anonymizing protocol based on peer-To-peer architecture. Each mobile node is responsible for anonymizing a specific zone. The mobile nodes collaborate in anonymizing their queries, without the need of getting access to any information about each other. In the proposed protocol, each request will be sent with a randomly chosen ticket. The encrypted response produced by the server is sent to a particular mobile node (called broker node) over the network, based on the hash value of this ticket. The user will query the broker to get the response. All parts of the messages are encrypted except the fields required for the anonymizer and the broker. This will secure the packet exchange over the P2P network. The proposed protocol was implemented and tested successfully, and the experimental results showed that it could be deployed efficiently to achieve user privacy in location-based services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7926445
Pages (from-to)9458-9469
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • LBS
  • peer-To-peer anonymizing
  • trusted anonymizer server

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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