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Receiver-location privacy is an important security requirement in privacy-preserving Vehicular Ad hoc NETworks (VANETs), yet the unavailable receiver's location information makes many existing packet forwarding protocols inefficient in VANETs. To tackle this challenging issue, in this paper, the authors propose an efficient social-tier-assisted packet forwarding protocol, called STAP, for achieving receiver-location privacy preservation in VANETs. Specifically, by observing the phenomena that vehicles often visit some social spots, such as well-traversed shopping malls and busy intersections in a city environment, They deploy storage-rich Road-Side Units (RSUs) at social spots and form a virtual social tier with them.
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