University of Technology Sydney: Partners aim for safe quarantine monitoring system

The collaboration is brought together by the NSW Smart Sensing Network (NSSN), and will further develop PAIMCOS’s quarantine monitoring technology.

The system addresses privacy concerns voiced in response to other quarantine monitoring applications currently in use across Australia by interacting with the users through their smart phones, without storing data that could be used for mass surveillance.

PAIMCOS CEO Adrian Iordachescu says the project aims to strengthen the system by using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimise the sequence for fraud prevention, high scalability and protection against cyber-attacks.

“While the system involves innovative technological design, the aim has been a practical one: to meet the challenges of working across a large and highly diverse population – such as the population of greater Sydney,” Mr Iordachescu says.

“While PAIMCOS presents the foundational concepts, it is through collaboration with NSSN, UTS and University of Sydney that these concepts will provide a robust solution. PAIMCOS will play a central role in further securing our society after vaccination targets are reached.”

Associate Professor Yang Wang, from the UTS Data Science Institute, says the system alleviates the security and privacy concerns often associated with other quarantine monitoring systems.

“The system does not require users to download and install an app and uses geofencing and user’s voice to verify their identity,” Associate Professor Wang says.

“Using advanced AI algorithms, we optimise the timing of compliance checks based on the circumstances of each individual, which minimises the risk of non-compliance and ensures interruption for the users is minimal.”

Dr Suranga Seneviratne, from the University of Sydney’s School of Computer Science, says it is of vital importance that the monitoring system collects an absolute minimum amount of data required for compliance verification.

“We’re bringing our expertise in cybersecurity and data privacy to this project, ensuring the data is collected securely and it will be permanently destroyed after some time.”

In addition to home-quarantine monitoring, PAIMCOS has boundary management functions allowing for effective management of hotspots (areas people may wish to exit illegally) and honeypots (areas they may wish to enter illegally, such as sporting events).

About PAIMCOS

Allows for immediate, electronic ring-fencing of individuals, households, housing blocks, suburbs or neighbourhoods
Easy-to-use among people from linguistically, culturally and social diverse backgrounds
The system does not require a download or opt-in procedure
Operates on smart phones (iPhone or Android) without the use of face recognition
Monitors the user with unscheduled calls that require a response. The frequency of calls can be scaled up or down
Recorded contacts are automatically discarded after each week of monitoring
If quarantine is breached, the system will notify a central point automatically (local health services, police or both)
Designed to provide a sense of community security as vaccination proceeds
Highly cost-effective and instantly scalable.

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