Dutch privacy team SOMI is calling for a extensive-ranging investigation into the pursuits of controversial facts analytics agency Palantir across the European Union (EU) and needs to increase recognition about European governments’ collaboration with tech companies from outside the house the EU on surveillance and profiling engineering.
The Amsterdam-centered Basis for Industry Information and facts Exploration (Stichting Onderzoek Marktinformatie, or SOMI), is a non-profit organisation that advocates for knowledge privacy and client concerns in the Netherlands and about Europe.
It says it is getting action because neither Palantir nor the multiple European agencies that use its technologies have been willing to share any information about its overall performance. These bodies are acknowledged to involve Europol, which has applied Palantir’s Gotham software package to conduct functions examination in an anti-terrorism taskforce, as very well as the French intelligence expert services, the Danish nationwide police, condition police in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and, probably, Dutch law enforcement.
In the Uk, other than currently being linked to Cambridge Analytica in the past, Palantir was this yr engaged to do the job together with Amazon Web Providers, Google and Microsoft to construct a information analytics programme for NHSX’s work on Covid-19. Far more a short while ago, it was awarded oversight of the UK’s write-up-Brexit border and customs data, though in the US it has labored with US immigration company ICE, which has by itself been implicated in a number of human legal rights abuses under the Trump routine.
“The strength of Palantir’s approach lies in the ability to incorporate independent and thus meaningless facts in this sort of a way that sudden connections and insights come up,” stated Cor Wijtvliet, co-founder of SOMI.
“But it was precisely this entry to all individuals databases that slowly turned the appreciation and admiration for the perform and the application into a mood of mistrust and disapproval.”
SOMI hopes its grievance will benefit European citizens by forcing Palantir and its buyers to appear cleanse in excess of how citizens’ details is accessed by the firm, who employs it, what they use it for, and what info has previously been or will be processed. It also hopes to spotlight the probable outcomes of European companies engaging with “faulty or non-EU GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] compliant software”.
It reported it thought that the predictive policing strategies that Palantir’s program can help evidently violate the presumption of innocence right up until established guilty, and various GDPR laws. Notably, said SOMI, the GDPR offers safeguards versus the software of techniques this kind of as profiling and automated selection-building.
SOMI also highlighted Palantir’s close associations with the US government and intelligence agencies as a supply of concern, as well as a lack of transparency in excess of meetings held with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at the Globe Financial Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“The function of SOMI’s general public motion is to make absolutely sure that all European citizens are well safeguarded from random or uncontrollable practices and that the integrity of EU surveillance functions will not be compromised by un(recognized) non-European entities,” the group said.
Much more facts on the proposed motion, which includes for present-day EU citizens on how to sign up to consider element, can be discovered at SOMI’s web page, in Dutch and English. The organisation has also produced a GDPR cellular app that individuals can download to make subject entry requests for an overview of their personal information.