Palantir Systems, a controversial US computer software business, has officially been named as a provider on the Crown Industrial Provider (CCS) Back again Workplace Computer software (BOS) Framework.
The BOS framework is a new £1.2 billion CCS contracting route for the provision of software package throughout central governing administration departments and all other public sector bodies, like nearby authorities, health and fitness, police, fire and rescue, education and devolved administrations.
It has to day been awarded to 31 suppliers, which include organizations such as Fujitsu, Oracle and SAP.
This will allow for public sector organisations to order program subscriptions and licence support for again office environment devices instantly from Palantir, in a deal that will run from 6 April 2021 to 10 October 2023, with the probable to increase for a even further 18 months.
Palantir has been related with a amount of controversial deals in the earlier, such as function with the US’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and faced a parliament enquiry in 2018 over alleged meetings with the now-defunct facts assessment organization Cambridge Analytica. It was also criticised in 2018 for buying up Task Maven, a agreement with the Pentagon to acquire drone technology powered by artificial intelligence, when it was dropped by Google subsequent staff wander outs.
“This completes Palantir’s relentless deployment into UK federal government and public institutions’ operations,” stated Lucie Audibert, lawful officer at Privacy Global, a electronic rights and privacy advocacy group.
“With general public scrutiny of Palantir’s merchandise and expert services nonetheless lacking, and reports of Palantir’s products having been made use of for human legal rights violations around the earth, this is of good problem,” she extra. “And it arrives just a few months just after the federal government conceded to trying to get general public consultation on Palantir’s involvement with the NHS,” she told IT Pro.
Privacy Global thinks Palantir has been discreetly developing and extending its attain inside and across federal government departments without correct public scrutiny.
“We know they have contracts with numerous governing administration departments, which includes the Cabinet Office environment, for advancement of the “Border Move Tool”, a submit-Brexit border administration procedure,” mentioned Audibert.
She explained that this software is intended to integrate a broad range of government details, from the Property Business to the Section of Social Care, but the community is unaware of just what data that is.
“The privatisation of public tasks is deeply problematic when deployed without having the oversight and safeguards needed to make certain human rights are not quietly abused,” extra Audibert.
Audibert added that community-private partnerships are dodging policies about transparency and accountability, as any disclosures and processes to which the public is entitled are limited and bypassed on account of “commercial passions confidentiality”.
Electronic legal rights group Open up Democracy has formerly claimed the govt was compelled into a “major U-turn” on its NHS deal with Palantir. The corporation was awarded an “emergency” deal in March 2020 by the NHS to supposedly guide with the COVID pandemic’s handling, which Open Democracy explained was “quietly” extended in December and gave it a even larger position in dealing with NHS facts. The extension was reportedly for two decades and influenced other areas further than COVID, this sort of as Brexit.
Open Democracy introduced a lawful problem in February, which it withdrew and claimed victory in April as it said that the NHS experienced fully commited to not extending Palantir’s deal further than COVID without having consulting the community.
The NHS claimed the group had to drop the scenario as it “was apparent even to them that the NHS has often acted in accordance with its lawful responsibilities”.
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