Privacy and Personalization in Location-based Database Servers

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 8:00pm


Wednesday, April 7, 2010
3:30 – 4:30
Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Rm. 1132

HOST: Amr El Abbadi

SPEAKER: Mohamed Mokbel
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Title: Privacy and Personalization in Location-based Database Servers


Combining the functionality of location-detection devices, wireless communications, and database systems results in realizing location-based services as commercial products and research prototypes. The main promise is to provide meaningful information to users based on an awareness of their current locations. This talk addresses our work at University of Minnesota that is geared towards enabling ubiquitous deployment of location-based services in daily life, i.e., building the necessary infrastructure behind location-based services such that their use is tantamount to that of the internet, phone, and electricity. We identify and tackle two main obstacles that hinder the ubiquity goal of location-based services, namely, privacy and personalization. For privacy, social science literature indicates that users are relatively paranoid about their private location information, and hence may not accept the ubiquity of location-based services. In terms of personalization, existing location-based services are so rigid as they only consider the location context while ignoring user preferences and other context types. In this talk, we will highlight our work in the Casper and CareDB projects, that provide privacy and personalization, respectively, in location-based database servers.