Data analysis firm Palantir receives major contract from US State Department
Dhe data analysis specialist Palantir has received an order worth almost 100 million dollars from the US Department of State pulled ashore. The Axiom software is intended to track the health of the diplomatic corps, the company told Reuters news agency before the official announcement. In this way, it is possible to react more quickly to health crises affecting embassy employees and their families. The State Department had already paid $10 million in advance when the five-year contract was signed.
Palantir has received government contracts primarily from the military, secret services and security agencies. For some time the company has been trying software to be increasingly sold to other government agencies. In the past quarter, the company made a profit for the first time and wants to be profitable in 2023 as well.
Fraunhofer: No concerns with the police
To the customers of the mysterious data analysis company Palantir belong to security authorities around the world, also from Germany. The Fraunhofer Institute announced this Wednesday that the use of Palantir analysis software by the Bavarian police was possible without any data protection concerns: “No so-called backdoor was identified in the software,” said the State Criminal Police Office in Munich on Wednesday.
In concrete terms, this means that the investigation did not identify any functionality that would allow data to be leaked illegally while circumventing access restrictions or allow unauthorized access to the system from outside. Actually, the results of the Fraunhofer study should have been available by the end of last year. The program of the controversial US company Palantir should not be used by the investigators for that long.
The program, which could potentially be used nationwide, combs through the various police databases to discover cross-connections that investigators might otherwise never notice. This should help the police to track down potential perpetrators before they can commit a crime. The Free State of Bavaria has concluded a framework agreement with Palantir so that all other police forces can adopt its program without additional procurement procedures. Critics had feared that Palantir could use the program to siphon off police data – partly because the company received money from the CIA as a start-up and later counted the US foreign intelligence service among its customers.
The police in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia are already using Palantir programs for investigations. The Federal Constitutional Court had ruled in mid-February that automated data evaluation was fundamentally possible under restrictive conditions.