Hide and Seek: Privacy-Preserving and FAA-compliant Drones Location Tracing

Alessandro Brighente, Mauro Conti, Savio Sciancalepore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the frequent unauthorized invasions by commercial drones to Critical Infrastructures (CIs), the US-based Federal Avionics Administration (FAA) recently published a new specification, namely RemoteID. Such a rule requires all drones to broadcast information about their identity and location, to allow for immediate invasion attribution and counter-actions. However, the enforcement of such a rule poses severe concerns on drones' operators, especially in terms of location privacy and tracking threats. Indeed, by simply receiving wireless signals, an adversary could know the precise drone location, track it, and infer sensitive information. In this paper, we demonstrate that CI operators can detect timely and efficiently drones invading no-fly zones, without sacrificing drones location privacy. Specifically, we provide two major contributions. First, we propose DiPrID, the first RemoteID-compliant solution enhancing drones location privacy via Differential Privacy. Second, we introduce and evaluate ICARUS, an effective area invasion detection technique capable of identifying invasions by unauthorized drones, even when equipped with DiPrID, with remarkable accuracy and negligible detection delays. Our experiments showed that when drones obfuscate their location by an average distance as large as 31.914 km, ICARUS can detect up to 94.2% of invasions, while false-positives can be mitigated through the help of the FAA.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2022
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450396707
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022
Event17th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2022 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 23 Aug 202226 Aug 2022

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference17th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security, ARES 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been partially supported by the INTERSCT project, Grant No. NWA.1162.18.301, funded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The findings reported herein are solely responsibility of the authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 ACM.


  • Critical Infrastructure Safety and Security
  • Intrusion Detection.
  • Location Privacy
  • RemoteID
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles


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