• mobile phone security;
  • location privacy;
  • Android


With the widespread use of smartphones, the loss of a device is a critical problem, which results both in disrupting daily communications and losing valuable property. As a result, tracking systems have been developed to track mobile devices. Previous tracking systems focus on recovering the device's locations after it goes missing, with security methods implemented on the clients. However, users' locations are stored in untrusted third-party services, which may be attacked or eavesdropped. In this paper, we propose a system, named Android Cloud Tracker, to provide a privacy-preserving tracking client and safe storing of user's locations. We use cloud storage controlled by users themselves as storage facilities, and they do not need to worry about any untrusted third party. We implement Android Cloud Tracker prototype on Android phones, and the evaluation shows that it is both practical and lightweight: it generates a small amount of data flow and its distributed architecture provides strong guarantees of location privacy while preserving the ability to efficiently track missing devices. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.