Innovative Secure Multi-Org Data-Sharing Project to Revolutionise Emergency Response

Secure Multi-Org Data-Sharing Project Final Demonstration

December 4th, 2023 - Cicada Innovations, Sydney

In an event hosted by CIN (Connectivity and Innovation Network), the SMODS project team, led by Dr. Xu Wang and Prof. Ren Ping Liu of UTS in collaboration with World Data Exchange, unveiled a revolutionary platform for secure, efficient, and privacy-driven data-sharing between organizations. Government representatives, industry leaders, academics, and first responders witnessed firsthand the game-changing potential of this initiative. 

What sets SMODS apart amongst its counterparts is its robust capabilities tailored explicitly for emergency response scenarios. The system was demonstrated for the potential use case of Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) emergency response. The current technology used by emergency services has limitations for cross-organisational communications, where for example, SLSNSW is unable to quickly grant access to beach footage to share to other organisations in order to assist in rescue scenarios. Confidentiality and data privacy are a major concern when sharing data in real time, and SMODS has effectively addressed this using a clean and intuitive decentralised platform that any emergency service operator at any level is able to access according to the requirements of their role. The decentralised system ensures data security and accessibility, directly connecting users to data owners for swift and effective information retrieval. The final demonstration this week emphasised the system’s ability to share both historical and real-time videos, facilitating comprehensive situational understanding crucial in emergency situations.

The demonstration this week reiterated the SMODS project team’s commitment to prioritising privacy by safeguarding sensitive video according to the control level of the access environment. Central to the design of SMODS is its sophisticated Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) scheme, which guarantees a flexible and scalable approach to managing user access. The adoption of the standard and universally recognised OAuth protocol ensures seamless integration with existing authentication systems. Furthermore, SMODS harnesses the latest AI technologies for the automated generation of data products, facilitating real-time video sharing while maintaining stringent privacy standards. These cutting-edge technologies collectively position SMODS as an efficient, secure, and privacy-focused solution, ideal for facilitating data sharing across organisations with a strong emphasis on maintaining privacy and security. 

From its inception as a response to connectivity challenges identified in workshops held by CIN, the SMODS project emerged as an innovation for streamlining information exchange among Emergency Service Organisations (ESOs). Recognising the criticality of real-time data access during emergencies, the project aimed to bridge the gap obstructing seamless communication among agencies. 

CIN and the SMODS project team identified the need for swift and accessible data-sharing in time-sensitive emergency responses. The project is the first of its kind to incorporate the ACS Data Sharing Framework, they crafted a platform capable of evaluating data privacy levels, assessing access risks, and managing dataset lifecycles. 

A highlight of the event was the demonstration of the system’s capabilities for various emergency response scenarios involving SES responders, Surf Life Saving teams, council officers, and public communications. The project team underscored the system’s ability to cater to varying levels of data sensitivity, from high-level insights to anonymised multimedia to raw data files, all while ensuring secure access based on organisational clearances. 

Looking ahead, the SMODS team is spearheading the platform’s early adoption in emergency services and government sectors, where its unique capabilities in secure and efficient data sharing will be fully leveraged. This effort involves enhancing functionality, improving user experience, and establishing partnerships to extend its scope. Concurrently, the team is committed to demonstrating SMODS’s applicability in a broader range of industries, actively promoting both the technology and the ACS Data Sharing Framework. This strategy aims to not only establish SMODS as a crucial tool in vital operational settings but also to advocate for its wider adoption, setting a new standard in ethical and efficient data sharing practices.