Privacy-Preserving Content Dissemination for Vehicular Social Networks: Challenges and Solutions

Xiaojie Wang, Zhaolong Ning, Meng Chu Zhou, Xiping Hu, Lei Wang, Yan Zhang, Fei Richard Yu, Bin Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Vehicular social networks (VSNs), viewed as the integration of traditional vehicular networks and social networks, are promising communication platforms based on the development of intelligent vehicles and deployment of intelligent transportation systems. Passengers can obtain information by searching over Internet or querying vehicles in proximity through intra-vehicle equipment. Hence, the performance of content dissemination in VSNs heavily relies on inter-vehicle communication and human behaviors. However, privacy preservation always conflicts with the usability of individual information in VSNs. The highly dynamic topology and increasing kinds of participants lead to potential threats for communication security and individual privacy. Therefore, the privacy-preserving solutions for content dissemination in VSNs have become extremely challenging, and numerous researches have been conducted recently. Compared with related surveys, this article provides the unique characteristics of privacy-preserving requirements and solutions for content dissemination in VSNs. It focuses on: 1) a comprehensive overview of content dissemination in VSNs; 2) the privacy issues and potential attacks related to content dissemination; and 3) the corresponding solutions based on privacy consideration. First, the characteristics of VSNs, content dissemination and its solutions in VSNs are revealed. Second, the privacy issues for content dissemination in the current VSN architecture are analyzed and classified according to their features. Various privacy-preserving content dissemination schemes, attempting to resist distinct attacks, are also discussed. Finally, the research challenges and open issues are summarized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8539991
Pages (from-to)1314-1345
Number of pages32
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Vehicular social networks
  • attack resistance
  • content dissemination
  • individual privacy
  • potential attacks


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