Security News > 2021 > August > Boffins propose Pretty Good Phone Privacy to end pretty invasive location data harvesting by telcos
"We solve something that had previously been thought impossible - achieving location privacy in mobile networks," said Paul Schmitt, an associate research scholar at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, told The Register.
In "Pretty Good Phone Privacy," [PDF] a paper scheduled to be presented on Thursday at the Usenix Security Symposium, Schmitt and Barath Raghavan, assistant professor of computer science at the University of Southern California, describe a way to re-engineer the mobile network software stack so that it doesn't betray the location of mobile network customers.
Thanks to evolving networking technology, which has shifted many core cellular functions from hardware to software, it's now possible to redesign mobile networks to limit the availability of location data.
Schmitt and Raghavan describe a new logical network entity called the Pretty Good Phone Privacy Gateway, which sits between public internet and the UPF, the gateway that provides global IP connectivity from the network core.
The purpose of Pretty Good Phone Privacy is to avoid using a unique identifier for authenticating customers and granting access to the network.
The technology may improve the privacy of cellular network architecture but it leaves adjacent privacy issues unresolved.