The thesis investigates how local privacy control mechanisms cancontribute to the development of intelligent and user-friendlylocation-aware mobile services. Privacy issues arise naturally inlocation-aware systems, since these systems often involve positioningof people. These issues must be handled in order to conserveindividual privacy, and to build trust in location-aware systems.
Location data are sensitive because of the tight relationship betweenlocation and context: where a person is can often say something aboutwhat the person is doing. In order to conserve privacy inlocation-aware computer systems, it is therefore important that usersretain control over their own location data. A combination of lawregulations and privacy-enabling mechanisms in the computer system isnecessary to allow for this control.
To demonstrate how local privacy control mechanisms can beincorporated as a value-adding functionality in location-awareapplications, I have developed a prototype of a location-aware chatapplication. Privacy control mechanisms included in the user deviceitself are attractive because they may be used to manipulate locationdata before they are disseminated to other parts of the computersystem.
The privacy mechanisms which have been incorporated in the prototypeallow the users to manipulate the quality of the location data theyshare with their peers along three dimensions: accuracy, frequency anddelay. A user test that was conducted to evaluate the prototype showsthat the users appreciate the ability to control and manipulate dataabout their own location.