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Missing Persons Hackathon generates 3,912 leads

354 participants, 96 teams, 3912 total leads: all in a day's work

Each year more than 38,000 people go missing in Australia. Most are located quickly, but around 2,600 are not and are still missing after three months.

Earlier this month, a national hackathon was held over six hours in all capital cities, plus the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast to try to generate leads to locate some of these people. 

More than 300 hackers and investigators from across the country used their skills to try and find Australians who have gone missing.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the National Missing Persons Hackathon was the first of its kind in Australia and is another example of how technology can help people.

The SaabAU team competing in South Australia won the event,  with the NSW-based Accenture team landing second place. Third place went to Victoria’s Hiddenagenda team.

Here’s a snapshot of the day:

· 354 participants across 96 teams

· 3912 total leads generated

· Average of 10 leads submitted by participants every minute

· 50 volunteer judges vetting leads in real time

Next steps:

The AFP National Missing Persons Coordination Centre has been provided with all the leads generated, and will work with State/Territory police to review the information provided. Whether or not the public will be advised of the outcome is dependant on whether the police and family consent to the information being publicised.

“The success of the National Missing Persons Hackathon exceeded all of our expectations. Not only did the event generate high quality leads on missing person cases by the 354 participants, it showcased the diverse elements of cyber security, cyber skills and the people who hold them” said Linda Cavanagh, Manager of the Canberra Cyber Security Innovation Node, which managed the event. “This event was certainly a game changer, demonstrating the enormous value of crowdsourcing OSINT to police as a complementary method to their investigations”.

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