The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency urged health officials in “all states and territories” to provide “daily” updates on ventilator availability for the novel coronavirus directly to the data mining giant Palantir, according to emails shared with The Daily Beast and confirmed by FEMA.
Palantir, co-founded by key Trump ally Peter Thiel, signed government contracts last month worth approximately $24.8 million to provide the Department of Health and Human Services with data-management software to track health-infrastructure deficiencies and forecast where future needs will emerge, through a platform known as HHS Protect. The company’s tools integrate a staggering 187 data sets containing information on everything from hospital inventories, medical supply chains, diagnostic and geographic testing data, demographic stats and more.
Those data sets do not include information from identifiable patients, according to HHS, which experts say keeps the arrangement from running afoul of privacy laws. But information on state capacity to meet COVID-19 hospitalization needs, particularly for the predictive purposes the FEMA administrator references and Palantir specializes in, is a potential goldmine for the secretive company.
“If they’re accessing these rich data sets directly from our public health infrastructure, will they exploit that to add economic value to their core data sets? If their AI learns how to infer and predict the patterns of the disease from our public data, then that becomes a hugely lucrative advantage for a private company, especially now when everyone, in every business sector, wants to know where COVID is going and how hard it’s going to hit,” said Shoshana Zuboff, the author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and a professor emerita at Harvard Business School.If you want to read Ackerman's entire article, click HERE.
Previous Cryptoscatology posts about Palantir can be found HERE, HERE, and HERE. A previous Cryptoscatology post about Peter Thiel can be found HERE.