Why Are We Trusting a Company With Ties To ICE and Intelligence Agencies To Collect Our Health Information?

In Healthcare, Misleading Information On
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Michael Kleinman is the director of Amnesty International’s Silicon Valley Initiative. Charanya Krishnaswami is Amnesty’s advocacy director for the Americas.

In the terrifying, uncertain days following 9/11, Congress authorized measures empowering the most sweeping surveillance the United States had ever seen. These measures, the public was assured, were temporary and extraordinary, justified by an emergency that had engulfed the nation.

Nineteen years later, they are mostly firmly still in place.

Now the U.S government is creating a sweeping, comprehensive coronavirus data platform that will track millions of Americans’ information. Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the contract for this platform to Palantir Technologies, a secretive data-mining firm known for its work with the Pentagon, intelligence agencies and law enforcement during the so-called global war on terrorism. The HHS Protect Now platform will aggregate data from at least 187 different sources, including the federal government, state and local governments, hospitals, and the private sector.

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