LASR Colloquia - Saikat Guha/Microsoft Research India, "A Location-Privacy Platform for Smartphone Apps," ACES 2.402

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Apr 23, 2012 2:15pm - 3:15pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found at

Type o

f Talk: LASR Colloquia

Speaker/Affiliation: Saikat Guha/Microsoft Rese

arch India

Talk Audience: UTCS Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergrad

uate Students and Outside Interested Parties

Date/Time: Monday, April
23, 2012, 2:15 pm

Location: ACES 2.402

Host: Yin Zhang


lk Title: A Location-Privacy Platform for Smartphone Apps

Talk Abstrac

Tracking users through mobile phones, especially in the context of lo

cation-based apps and in-app advertising, is a major privacy concern today

. The problem stems from the low-level nature of the location API on phones
today, which requires the app-developer to rely on 3rd party code and 3rd
party cloud services (incl. ad networks), which virtually guarantees such
tracking. We propose an alternative approach. We expose a privacy-preservi

ng location-based matching API as a fundamental platform primitive. Applica

tions set rich location-based triggers and have these be fired based on loc

ation updates either from the local device or from a remote device (e.g.,

a friend‚s phone). In this talk I''ll discuss how such a simple primitive
can support a wide class of location-based apps on the
phone, enhances

user-privacy, while simplifying the app-developer''s code.

Speaker Bi

Saikat hates online advertising. Which is why he is doing everything h

e can to fix it. As of this writing, his phone is showing him a penny-stoc

k ad even though (or perhaps because) he flunked Econ 101. He just wants it
to show him to an Austin Chalupa place without having to tell Google he li

kes Tex-Mex.