The Strategist

UK Department of Health terminates contract with Palantir under public pressure

09/13/2021 - 08:04

Under pressure from public criticism, the UK Department of Health has terminated a contract with Palantir, an American technology company that provided big data processing services to the social care service for the elderly and disabled. This is reported by Bloomberg agency.

Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow
Palantir is a developer of "spy" software that is actively used by U.S. intelligence agencies and their allies, and among its first investors was IN-Q-Tel, a company associated with the U.S. intelligence and Defense Department. 

In December 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, the UK government awarded Palantir a two-year contract to analyze vast amounts of data related to COVID-19, the country's situation in the pandemic, and measures to combat the disease.

However, British civil society organizations that advocate for the protection of the personal data of British citizens have sharply criticized the government for giving Palantir access to important data on patients, health care workers, and other local citizens. 

Under pressure from activists, the Department of Health launched a tender to replace its data analysis service provider. The £100,000 tender was won by the British company Mosaic Services, which will have by September 30 to switch the social care services for the elderly and disabled to a new data analysis system - EDGE, developed by the UK defence company BAE Systems.