Implementing Differential Privacy for Privacy Preserving Trajectory Data Publication in Large-Scale Wireless Networks

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Virginia Tech


Wireless networks collect vast amounts of log data concerning usage of the network. This data aids in informing operational needs related to performance, maintenance, etc., but it is also useful for outside researchers in analyzing network operation and user trends. Releasing such information to these outside researchers poses a threat to privacy of users. The dueling need for utility and privacy must be addressed. This thesis studies the concept of differential privacy for fulfillment of these goals of releasing high utility data to researchers while maintaining user privacy. The focus is specifically on physical user trajectories in authentication manager log data since this is a rich type of data that is useful for trend analysis. Authentication manager log data is produced when devices connect to physical access points (APs) and trajectories are sequences of these spatiotemporal connections from one AP to another for the same device. The fulfillment of this goal is pursued with a variable length n-gram model that creates a synthetic database which can be easily ingested by researchers. We found that there are shortcomings to the algorithm chosen in specific application to the data chosen, but differential privacy itself can still be used to release sanitized datasets while maintaining utility if the data has a low sparsity.



e-differential privacy, differential privacy, privacy preserving trajectory data publication, PPTDP, privacy preserving data publication, PPDP