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UK authorities terminates one in every of its data-sharing contracts with Palantir

Peter Thiel, co-founder and chairman of Palantir Applied sciences Inc., pauses throughout a information convention in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

The U.Ok. authorities has terminated a controversial data-sharing settlement with U.S. tech agency Palantir following criticism from privateness campaigners.

The Division of Well being and Social Care issued a young in August to maneuver its Grownup Social Care Dashboard from Palantir to a brand new system known as EDGE, which has been constructed by U.Ok. protection big BAE Programs.

 “The longer term UK Well being Safety Company Structure … is looking for to maneuver away from reliance on third celebration information analytics platforms and software program,” the tender reads.

“DHSC needs emigrate from the present Palantir answer to the EDGE (Setting for Knowledge Gathering and Engineering) system. This method was established and developed by BAE Programs for DHSC (and it) was progressed at tempo through the pandemic.”

The tender was gained by London-based IT marketing consultant Mozaic Companies, who will obtain £100,000 ($138,000) for finishing the migration, in accordance with public data. The challenge began on Aug. 18 and runs till Sept. 30, which is when the contract with Palantir would have robotically renewed.

Information that the contract had been terminated was first reported by Bloomberg. The Division of Well being and Social Care and Palantir didn’t instantly reply to a CNBC request for remark. 

Based by billionaire Peter Thiel, a enterprise capitalist with a seat on Fb’s board, Palantir supplies its information analytics platform to authorities departments, spy businesses and companies world wide.

It noticed an increase in demand for its software program through the coronavirus pandemic as nations tried to attract insights from well being information. Britain, for instance, used Palantir’s expertise and experience to attempt to perceive the massive portions of Covid-19 information that it collected. It was awarded a two-year contract in Dec. 2020 that’s but to be terminated.

Palantir says affected person information is “pseudonymized” earlier than it’s processed by the software program as a part of an effort to guard affected person privateness. The information administration approach entails switching the unique information set with an alias or pseudonym. Nonetheless, it’s a reversible course of that permits for re-identification if obligatory, and a few have questioned whether or not it goes far sufficient to guard folks’s non-public info.

A marketing campaign was launched in June to attempt to cease Palantir from working with the U.Ok.’s Nationwide Well being Service. “Their background has typically been in contracts the place individuals are harmed, not healed,” argued  Cori Crider, the lawyer who co-founded Foxglove.

Clive Lewis, a Labour celebration member of Parliament and one of many marketing campaign’s backers, accused Palantir of getting an “appalling monitor file.”

“It is constructed its enterprise supporting drone and missile strikes, immigration raids and arrests, not the supply and care of medication,” Lewis instructed CNBC. “It is acquired a questionable agenda, and I feel that can have an damaging influence on affected person belief, notably amongst minoritized communities who might really feel a menace from large authorities.”

Palantir additionally has contracts with Britain’s the Cupboard Workplace and the Ministry of Protection. 

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