August 12 – 17 , 2012, Dagstuhl Seminar 12331

Mobility Data Mining and Privacy


Christopher W. Clifton (Purdue University – West Lafayette, US)
Bart Kuijpers (Hasselt University – Diepenbeek, BE)
Katharina Morik (TU Dortmund, DE)
Yucel Saygin (Sabanci University – Istanbul, TR)

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Dagstuhl Report, Volume 2, Issue 8 Dagstuhl Report
List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]


Mobility Data Mining and Privacy aimed to stimulate the emergence of a new research community to address mobility data mining together with privacy issues. Mobility data mining aims to extract knowledge from movement behaviour of people. This is an interdisciplinary research area combining a variety of disciplines such as data mining, geography, visualization, data/knowledge representation, and transforming them into a new context of mobility while considering privacy which is the social aspect of this area. The high societal impact of this topic is mainly due to the two related facets of its area of interest, i.e., people's movement behaviour, and the associated privacy implications. Privacy is often associated with the negative impact of technology, especially with recent scandals in the US such as AOL's data release which had a lot of media coverage. The contribution of Mobility Data Mining and Privacy is to turn this negative impact into positive impact by investigating how privacy technology can be integrated into mobility data mining. This is a challenging task which also imposes a high risk, since nobody knows what kinds of privacy threats exist due to mobility data and how such data can be linked to other data sources.

The seminar looked closely at two application areas: Vehicular data and cellular data. Further discussions covered two specific new general approaches to protecting location privacy: context-dependent privacy, and location uncertainty as a means to protect privacy. In each of these areas, new ideas were developed; further information is given in the working group reports.

The seminar emphasized discussion of issues and collaborative development of solutions -- the majority of the time was divided between working group breakout sessions follow by report-back and general discussion sessions. While the working group reports were written by subgroups, the contents reflect discussions involving all 22 participants of the seminar.

The seminar concluded that there are numerous challenges to be addressed in mobility data mining and privacy. These challenges require investigation on both technical and policy levels. Of particular importance is educating stakeholders from various communities on the issues and potential solutions.


  • Databases / Information Retrieval
  • Security / Cryptography
  • Computer Graphics / Computer Vision
  • Society / HCI


  • Spatio-temporal databases
  • Mobility data mining
  • Privacy-preserving mining
  • Data visualization


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.