Bluetooth Tracking without Discoverability

  • Simon Hay
  • Robert Harle
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5561)


Outdoor location-based services are now prevalent due to advances in mobile technology and GPS. Indoors, however, even coarse location remains unavailable. Bluetooth has been identified as a potential location technology that mobile consumer devices already support, easing deployment and maintenance. However, Bluetooth tracking systems to date have relied on the Bluetooth inquiry mode to constantly scan for devices. This process is very slow and can be a security and privacy risk. In this paper we investigate an alternative: connection-based tracking. This permits tracking of a previously identified handset within a field of fixed base stations. Proximity is determined by creating and monitoring low-level Bluetooth connections that do not require authorisation. We investigate the properties of the low-level connections both theoretically and in practice, and show how to construct a building-wide tracking system based on this technique. We conclude that the technique is a viable alternative to inquiry-based Bluetooth tracking.


Mobile Device Ubiquitous Computing Link Quality Indoor Location Privacy Risk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Hay
    • 1
  • Robert Harle
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cambridge Computer LaboratoryUK

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