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A Privacy-Preserving, Accountable and Spam-Resilient Geo-Marketplace

by   Kien Nguyen, et al.
University of Southern California

Mobile devices with rich features can record videos, traffic parameters or air quality readings along user trajectories. Although such data may be valuable, users are seldom rewarded for collecting them. Emerging digital marketplaces allow owners to advertise their data to interested buyers. We focus on geo-marketplaces, where buyers search data based on geo-tags. Such marketplaces present significant challenges. First, if owners upload data with revealed geo-tags, they expose themselves to serious privacy risks. Second, owners must be accountable for advertised data, and must not be allowed to subsequently alter geo-tags. Third, such a system may be vulnerable to intensive spam activities, where dishonest owners flood the system with fake advertisements. We propose a geo-marketplace that addresses all these concerns. We employ searchable encryption, digital commitments, and blockchain to protect the location privacy of owners while at the same time incorporating accountability and spam-resilience mechanisms. We implement a prototype with two alternative designs that obtain distinct trade-offs between trust assumptions and performance. Our experiments on real location data show that one can achieve the above design goals with practical performance and reasonable financial overhead.


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