Privacy in mobile
and pervasive networks

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This last decade has witnessed a wide adoption of connected mobile devices able to capture the context of their owners from embedded sensors (GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, accelerometers). The advent of mobile and pervasive computing has enabled rich social and contextual applications, but the use of such technologies raises severe privacy issues and challenges. The privacy threats come from diverse adversaries, ranging from curious service providers and other users of the same service to curious applications running on the device and eavesdroppers. The information that can be collected from mobile device owners includes their locations, their social relationships, and their current activity. All of this, once analyzed and combined together through inference, can be very telling about the users’ private lives. 

One of our research missions at the LDS is to identify privacy threats in mobile and pervasive networks, quantify the privacy of the users of such networks, and design efficient privacy protection mechanisms. We also study various peripheral aspects of privacy, including usability and the economic viability of the considered services and technologies. In addition to its analytical dimension, our research has a strong experimental component that involves field studies, data collection campaigns and user surveys, made possible by collaborations with strategic partners.

EPFL/LDS Researchers

Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux
Dr. Apostolos Pyrgelis
Ludovic Barman

Academic Partners

Prof. Kevin Huguenin, University of Lausanne
Dr. Mathias Humbert, SDSC
Dr. Ricardo Delgado, CSEM
Prof. Joan Feigenbaum, Yale University

Prof. Bryan Ford, EPFL




  • I. Aad, V. Niemi, A. Durussel, E. De Cristofaro, I. Bilogrevic, M. Jadliwala, and J.-P. Hubaux. Method and Apparatus for Preserving Privacy for Appointment Scheduling. Patent filed at the U.S. Patent Office, 2011.
  • I. Aad, J. Freudiger, M. Jadliwala, J.-P. Hubaux, M. Raya, K. Leppänen, M.T. Turunen. Method and Apparatus for Triggering User Communications based on Privacy Information. U.S. Patent US 2011/0219423, 2010.