Palantir targets commercial market with tools for War on Terror


By 2018, Palantir, founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel to supply tools for finding obscure connections by analysing a wide range of data streams to the Pentagon and the CIA for the War on Terror, was supplying its software to the US Department of Health and Human Services to detect Medicare fraud, to the FBI for criminal probes, and to the Department of Homeland Security to screen air travellers and monitor immigrants. It was also supplying its software to police and sheriff's departments in New York, New Orleans, LA, and Chicago. 

In 2009, however, Peter Cavicchia III, a former US Secret Service agent running forensic investigations for JP Morgan, began using the software, providing the company with a testbed for moving into the financial sector. The programme was terminated when senior executives realised Cavicchia was spying on them. 

Palantir was valued at $20 billion in 2015, but has never reported a profit. Its installation and maintenance costs are so high that customers such as Hershey, Coca-Cola, Nasdaq, American Express, and Home Depot have all dropped it. Its latest produce, Foundry, introduced in 2018, was expected to provide more automation, require less on-site maintenance, and help the company conquer the commercial market.
tags: Palantir, Peter Thiel, police, security agencies, data mining, data analytics
writer: Peter Waldman, Lizette Chapman, and Jordan Peterson
publication: Bloomberg

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