Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Perusco, L, Michael, K and Michael, MG, Location-Based Services and the Privacy-Security Dichotomy, in Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Mobile Computing and Ubiquitous Networking, London, 11-13 October 2006, 91-98.


Location-based services (LBS) rely on knowledge of a user’s location to provide tailored services or information by means of a wireless device. LBS applications have wide-ranging implications for society, particularly in the context of tracking and monitoring groups of individuals such as children, invalids, and parolees. Despite a great deal of attention paid to technical and commercial aspects of LBS technologies, consideration of the legal, ethical, social and technology momentum issues involved has been wanting. This paper examines some of the more pressing issues that are expected to arise from the widespread use of LBS. The outcome of this paper is the development of an LBS privacy-security dichotomy. The dichotomy demonstrates the importance of striking a balance between the privacy of the individual and national security as a whole. It also presents a realized framework for reasoning about potentially problematic issues in LBS applications.