WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, new reporting in the Daily Beast detailed how the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) instructed states to give “daily” updates on ventilator availability during the COVID-19 crisis to Palantir, the defense contracting company founded by Trump ally Peter Thiel.
Give Ventilator Availability Updates To Palantir
After the company clinched a multi-million dollar deal with the Trump administration to provide data management software to the nation’s health department, internal emails obtained by Accountable.US show FEMA told states to give information on ventilator availability directly to Palantir — potentially arming the private data-mining company with invaluable health information amid an information-rich crisis. A FEMA official told the Daily Beast that “all 50 states” provided ventilator information to Palantir.
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The situation was revealed through internal emails procured through Accountable.US’s 50 States Open Records Project — an effort to obtain information from all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., Guam, and American Samoa on the administration’s mismanaged and opaque COVID-19 response.
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Key Excerpts From The Daily Beast:
“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.
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Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes corruption across all levels of government.