Secretive, never profitable Palantir makes market debut

By FRANK BAJAK
September 30, 2020

BOSTON (AP) — Seventeen years after it was born with the help of CIA seed money, the data-mining outfit Palantir Technologies is finally going public in the biggest Wall Street tech offering since last year’s debut of Slack and Uber.

Never profitable and dogged by ethical objections for assisting in the Trump administration’s deportation crackdown, Palantir forged ahead Wednesday with a direct listing of its stock, gaining 31% in its first trading day.

The big question for both investors and company management: Can Palantir successfully transition from a business built on the costly handholding of government customers to serving corporate customers at scale? The company is a hybrid provider of software and consulting services that often embeds its own engineers with clients.

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Activists worry about potential abuse of face scans for ICE







July 9, 2019

By FRANK BAJAK

BOSTON (AP) — Civil rights activists complained Monday of the potential for widespread abuse following confirmation that at least three states have scanned millions of driver’s license photos on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement without the drivers’ knowledge or consent.

Public records obtained by the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology provided the first proof that ICE had sought such scans, which were conducted in Utah, Vermont and Washington.

All three states — which offer driving privileges to immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally — agreed to the ICE requests, according to documents shared with The Associated Press on Monday and first reported by The Washington Post .

“States asked undocumented people to come out of the shadows to get licenses. Then ICE turns around and uses that to find them,” Alvaro Bedoya, the center’s director, said Monday.

ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke did not directly address written questions, including whether the agency used the scans to arrest or deport anyone.

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