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Advances in mobile networks and positioning technologies have made location information a valuable asset in vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs). However, the availability of such information must be weighted against the potential for abuse. In this paper, we investigate the problem of alleviating unauthorized tracking of target vehicles by adversaries in VANETs. We propose a vehicle density-based location privacy (DLP) scheme which can provide location privacy by utilizing the neighboring vehicle density as a threshold to change the pseudonyms. We derive the delay distribution and the average total delay of a vehicle within a density zone. Given the delay information, an adversary may still be available to track the target vehicle by a selection rule. We investigate the effectiveness of DLP based on extensive simulation study. Simulation results show that the probability of successful location tracking of a target vehicle by an adversary is inversely proportional to both the traffic arrival rate and the variance of vehicles' speed. Our proposed DLP scheme also has a better performance than both Mix-Zone scheme and AMOEBA with random silent period.
Date of Conference: 14-18 June 2009