The NZ contact tracing technology keeping Queenslanders safe

This weekend approximately 40,000 Queenslanders will visit more than 100 Rugby League venues across the state to watch their favourite team play, and every one of them will be kept safe thanks to EVA Check-in. A technology that we developed here at Theta, it sets the benchmark in high-security personal information collection for contact tracing.

EVA Check-in has been recommended for use by the Queensland Government and has been adopted by Queensland Rugby League, Netball Queensland and Hockey Queensland and others as their method of choice to ensure they are COVID compliant for visitors and staff at each game.

The Queensland Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan requires contact tracing on sporting grounds of all players, officials, staff and visitors, including full name, phone number, date of entry and time spent on-site for a period of 56 days. Darren Schooth, state operations manager at Queensland Rugby Football League explains,

“EVA Check-in works via a simple QR code on the front end, but on the back end, it has the most amazing system. It ‘remembers’ visitors for the next time, including whole families, so we can check in regulars quickly and easily enabling social distancing by preventing queues building up. We now know exactly how many people come into each venue and we receive an alert when we hit the maximum limit.” 

EVA Check-in was developed during the COVID-19 lockdown by Theta’s Innovation Lab, headed by Andrew Taylor.

“Using our experience in visitor management software, we were able to bring EVA Check-in to market rapidly. We designed EVA Check-in to be fast for organisations to rollout, easy to use, and importantly to keep information private. The product has evolved rapidly in response to being used by hundreds of different organisations across Australia and New Zealand.”

Theta’s Head of Cyber Security, Jeremy Jones applied his extensive 20 years’ experience working in high-end security for the British Government to develop the security for EVA Check-in, setting a new gold standard in contactless check-in. He explains that “many venues rely on free apps or old-fashioned hand-writing at the door which means it can leave their customers open to privacy and security issues”. He said that many members of the public were concerned about giving out their personal details at the door of venues, and in some instances, there had been breaches of privacy. “There are news stories where staff have taken photographs of people’s personal details and looked them up later. Many free apps also operate as ‘data collectors’ so you don’t know where your personal information is going or how it will be used. Some of the apps we have seen collect far more information than is required to perform visitor registration”.

In contrast, EVA Check-in encrypts all personal information received and holds it safely in Australia while collecting only the minimum amount of information required to perform the registration. It doesn’t go off-shore to countries with less stringent security and poor privacy records. Venue operators nominate those who have authorised access, and they can only access this information if they are required to release it to the Health Department as part of a COVID-19 Tracing operation. In addition, all information accessed is audited, so there is a huge level of accountability on the venue and its staff. Information is kept only for as long as required and then is automatically deleted.

Managing large volumes of check-ins across multiple venues with ease

Netball Queensland’s delivery network lead, Laura Rathgeber, checked in over 18,750 people state-wide last weekend.

“Without EVA Check-in, we would not have had the capability to capture such heavy foot traffic for contact tracing. It was so quick and easy to use, which is particularly important when you are relying on volunteers as we do. It has given us massive peace-of-mind to know we are doing the right thing by our customers and our staff and that we can access the data at any time should we be required to do so.”

Laura said that she was also able to take advantage of EVA Check-in’s ability to monitor different sites from one location.

“We use it across the office, venue and Nissan arena, so we know exactly how many people we have across multiple sites at any given time.”

Darren and Laura both agreed that as an unexpected bonus, EVA Check-in has helped improve business processes. Darren comments, 

“We can more efficiently service the crowd by managing stock levels and supplies which has helped our clubs save money and manage cash flow.” 

Since EVA Check-in was launched, it has safely checked in more than 1.5 million Australians and is now on track to receive its independent certification privacy ‘trust mark’ in New Zealand. Rob Lee, CEO at Theta shows his support, 

“We are incredibly proud of being able to apply our long-standing IT experience to enable businesses and members of the public to continue to go about their everyday lives and relax in the knowledge that they, their loved ones and their customers are protected during such uncertain times,” 

In the media:

The Western Australian

The Kimberley Echo

The Cairns Post

Daily Telegraph

Netball Queensland - QR Code solution to assist netball community with tracing


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Left image in main body of article: Lugnuts at English Wikipedia / CC BY-SA