A blockchain-based location privacy-preserving crowdsensing system

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Future Generation Computer Systems, 2019, 94 pp. 408 - 418
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. With the support of portable electronic devices and crowdsensing, a new class of mobile applications based on the Internet of Things (IoT) application is emerging. Crowdsensing enables workers with mobile devices to travel to specified locations and collect data, then send it back to the requester for rewards. However, the majority of the existing crowdsensing systems are based on centralized servers, which are prone to a high chance of attack, intrusion, and manipulation. Further, during the process of transmitting information to and from the service server, the worker's location is usually exposed. This raises the potential risk of a privacy infringement. In this paper, we first identify three ways locations can be disclosed in traditional crowdsensing systems. Then, we propose a novel solution, dubbed a blockchain privacy-preservation crowdsensing system, to address these privacy problems. The proposed system not only protects the privacy of worker locations but also increases the success rate of completing the assigned task. Specifically, the system entails a rewards-based task assignment process that, essentially, markets the given assignment and uses the anonymized characteristics of blockchain technology to hide the identity information of users. To prevent attacks through re-identification, we have introduced a private blockchain to distribute the worker's transaction records.
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