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Crowd-Sourced Bluetooth Tracker Apps
BLELoc and Crowd Blue Locator are two proof-of-concept crowdsourced Bluetooth tracking applications for Android OS. They are implemented as part of the Software-Entwicklung (PSE) course. These applications track the Bluetooth devices around an app user anonymously (unknown to the tracking user) and send a location and timestamp to the device owner when trackers encounter a searched Bluetooth device. The owners can register their paired Bluetooth devices in the apps and enable or disable the search. The apps can be used to track, for instance, personal Bluetooth headphones, wireless speakers, smart-watches, fitness bands, other phones/tablets (when Bluetooth is on), smart pens, Bluetooth mouse and keyboards and other pairable IoT devices independent of manufacturer.
The two apps differ in where they discard irrelevant observations. Crowd Blue Locator reports all Bluetooth device observations to our server. All observations of unsearched devices are discarded automatically by the server. If the devices are searched, the observations are sent to the device owners. BLELoc shares a list of all searched devices and an encrypted list of observations for all searched devices. A device owner can only decode observations of his/her registered devices. BLELoc app discards the unsearched devices on the smartphone.
The apps are shared in the following state:
- Proof-of-concept, i.e., not optimized.
- Require paired devices for privacy reasons (does not work with Bluetooth beacons).
- May reduce the battery life of Bluetooth devices and the tracking smartphones.
To install, 3rd party apps must be enabled.