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Taiwan's new electronic fence for quarantines leads wave of coronavirus monitoring

Christian Fernsby |
Taiwan is rolling out a mobile phone based electronic fence that uses location tracking to ensure people who are quarantined stay in their homes.

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Governments around the world are combining technology and human efforts to enforce quarantines that require people who have been exposed to the virus to stay in their homes, but Taiwan's system is believed to be the first to use mobile phone tracking for that purpose.

"The goal is to stop people from running around and spreading the infection," said Jyan Hong wei, head of Taiwan's Department of Cyber Security, who leads efforts to work with telecom carriers to combat the virus.

The system monitors phone signals to alert police and local officials if those in home quarantine move away from their address or turn off their phones. Jyan said authorities will contact or visit those who trigger an alert within 15 minutes.

Officials also call twice a day to ensure people don't avoid tracking by leaving their phones at home.

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