A US-based high-tech surveillance company. Designed systems for US immigration authorities to surveil and target immigrants and to manage mass immigration raids. Its predictive policing tools are used by law enforcement agencies and by Israeli security forces.
Palantir Technologies is a software company that specializes in data analytics for security and surveillance, headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Palantir’s annual revenue in 2019 was $743 million, with 47% coming from government clients. As of 2020, Palantir had 125 clients, 19 offices in 14 countries, and 2,400 employees.
Palantir has designed mass surveillance tools for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to conduct mass surveillance on immigrant communities and conduct workplace raids. It provided ICE with its Investigative Case Management System (ICM), a data analysis system that collects and organizes information about individuals and their connections from many sources, including license plate readers, law enforcement databases, facial recognition cameras, public records, email providers, employment records, school and medical records, credit card reports, and social media postings. Palantir also designed the FALCON Search and Analysis system for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE’s investigative arm. HSI has used FALCON to facilitate mass workplace raids.
Palantir provides the same mass surveillance tools to law enforcement agencies and police departments, circumventing warrant procedures in giving police access to vast amounts of information about individuals. The company sells predictive policing technology which purports to identify people more likely to be gang members or break the law, using artificial intelligence (AI) and circumstantial indications from the databases it scours. These technologies have been criticized as ineffective and biased against communities which are already disproportionately criminalized.
The company has also provided its AI predictive system to Israeli security forces, to identify people in the occupied Palestinian West Bank who are likely to conduct “lone wolf” terrorist attacks.
- In September 2019, over 1,200 students from 17 U.S. universities signed a pledge that they would not work with Palantir because of its relationship with ICE.
- On August 28, 2019, the largest conference for women in computing, the Grace Hopper Celebration, dropped Palantir as a sponsor after a petition with 200 signatures was submitted citing its relationship with ICE.
- In August 2019, 60 Palantir employees signed a petition calling for an end to its contracts and relationship with ICE, including its role in family separations.
- In August 2019, the LGBTQ tech organization, Lesbians Who Tech, removed Palantir from its annual job fair because of public dissent to Palantir’s role in ICE workplace raids.
- In June 2019, the Privacy Law Scholars Conference at the University of California at Berkeley dropped Palantir as a sponsor after 140 academics signed a letter citing its questionable relationship with ICE.