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Data61 partners with Unisys to develop border security solution powered by analytics

Data61, the CSIRO’s data innovation arm, has today announced a collaboration with Unisys that will see the two organisations work together to develop an advanced data analytics solution for border security.

Through research to be funded by Unisys, the organisations are aiming to develop a solution capable of detecting potential border security risks posed by travellers, cargo, parcels, and visa applicants.

According to Data61, development will involve using machine learning to assess anonymised data sets from airlines in order to identify patterns that indicate potential risks of both traveller intent and cargo contents.

The organisations will conduct a proof-of-concept trial at a “major Asian hub” as they look to develop the technology into a product for governments worldwide.

Adrian Turner, CEO of Data61, said, “The end goal of this international collaboration is to make border security processes more efficient, cost effective and safer for countries around the world.”

John Kendall, global border security director at Unisys added that Data61 brings an ideal combination of data science research innovation and deep experience in the transport and logistics sector.

“Most border agencies today rely on human designed rules to identify suspicious people or cargo. Working with Data61, we are incorporating machine learning and real-time data analytics to reveal the actual intent of travellers and shippers,” he said.

“This will allow border agencies to automate the processing of low risk people and cargo while reserving specialised border security resources for the small percentage of travellers and cargo that present a higher risk profile.”

The product developed in collaboration with Data61 will build on the existing work done by Unisys in the border security analytics space.

Unisys worked with US Customs and Border Protection to implement automated license plate reader technology to screen vehicles crossing US borders, as well as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to confirm citizenship and identity of travelers with RFID-enabled travel documents.

The company is also working with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection to build a new system to clear arriving and departing travellers at the border.

The Department was last year awarded $99.2 million in funding from the Federal Government to enhance its visa risk assessment capabilities.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said at the time, “Decision-makers need to have the tools to take a closer look at the travellers’ broader criminal and security risk.

“They need to know much more about visa applicants and whether they pose a threat to the community…risks will be more easily identified at the visa application stage before individuals reach the border.”

Image source: AustraliaHereWeCome.

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