2nd Workshop on Privacy in Geographic
Information Collection and Analysis

In conjunction with ACM SIGSPATIAL 2015

November 3, 2015, Seattle, Washington, USA


Workshop scope

Developments in mobile and surveying technologies over the past decade have enabled the collection of individual-level and aggregated geographic information at unprecedented scale. These data are valuable sources for answering scientific questions about human behavior and improving related services, from public transportation to location-aware recommendations. However, privacy intrusion is an imminent risk when individual trajectories (and in some cases aggregated travel patterns) are used for commercial purposes such as customer profiling, or even for political persecution. Similarly, there is a trade-off between location privacy and quality of spatial search and recommender systems. The GeoPrivacy workshop will hence focus on discussing methods to protect individuals’ privacy while enabling collection, analysis, and sharing of useful geographic information.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

Workshop format

The workshop will be kicked off with an invited keynote, followed by presentations of full papers (20 minutes each) and lightning talks given by authors of accepted short, vision papers (5 minutes each). The purpose of these two paper options is to spur discussion on current efforts and next steps in the area of GeoPrivacy. The afternoon will be dedicated to small breakout groups to work on focused topics that emerge from the morning presentations. The workshop will conclude with a joint discussion summarizing the issues and directions identified through the course of the day.

Keynote Speaker: Darakhshan Mir

Differential Privacy and Spatio-temporal Data: Challenges and Opportunities

Spatio-temporal data, among other things, enable novel ways of constructing models of human mobility. Such models have broad applicability in areas such as urban planning, ecology, epidemiology, and public health; privacy, however, remains an outstanding issue. This talk will examine the applicability of differential privacy to facilitate use of such data. Do existing applications of differential privacy facilitate the use of such data to derive novel insights? We will first examine the contexts in which differentially private solutions have been proposed for such problems. Among other things, we will discuss DP-WHERE a differentially-private modeling approach that starting from Call Detail Records (CDRs) produces synthetic CDRs (and hence synthetic patio-temporal data) for a synthetic population. We will then discuss the challenges in applying differential privacy to a host of spatio-temporal data. What are some of the breakthroughs we need to make when we apply differential privacy to such problems, before we can harness its full potential?

Bio: Darakhshan Mir is currently an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Jane W. Griffith Faculty Fellow at Bucknell University. Earlier, she was the Norma Wilentz Hess Faculty Fellow at Wellesley College. She earned her Ph.D. in 2013 from Rutgers University. Her research interests are in examining privacy from several perspectives within and outside computer science. She is interested in the connections between differential privacy and information theory, in examining the applications of differential privacy to "real-world" problems, and in deepening the conversation between computer science privacy researchers and others.



We call for full papers (up to 8 pages) and short vision papers raising discussion points for the workshop (up to 4 pages). Submissions must be original and must not be under review elsewhere. Papers must be formatted using the ACM camera-ready templates available at All papers must be submitted in PDF format via the online system at

Acceptance will be based on relevance to the workshop, technical quality, originality, and potential impact, as well as clarity of presentation. All submitted full papers will be reviewed by at least 3 referees and short vision papers will be reviewed by a minimum of 2 referees.

The proceedings of the workshop will appear in the ACM Digital Library. One author per accepted paper is required to register for the workshop and the conference, as well as present the accepted submission to ensure inclusion in the workshop proceedings.

Important dates


Program committee


Please contact Grant McKenzie for any inquiries related to the workshop.