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Publication Detail
Identification via location-profiling in GSM networks
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Conference Proceeding
  • Authors:
    De Mulder Y, Danezis G, Batina L, Preneel B
  • Publication date:
    01/12/2008
  • Pagination:
    23, 32
  • Journal:
    Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    1543-7221
Abstract
As devices move within a cellular network, they register their new location with cell base stations to allow for the correct forwarding of data. We show it is possible to identify a mobile user from these records and a pre-existing location profile, based on previous movement. Two different identification processes are studied, and their performances are evaluated on real cell location traces. The best of those allows for the identification of around 80% of users. We also study the misidentified users and characterise them using hierarchical clustering techniques. Our findings highlight the difficulty of anonymizing location data, and firmly establish they are personally identifiable. Copyright 2008 ACM.
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