FedScoop: Inside Palantir’s work with the CDC, HHS to synthesize COVID-19 data

“Big data analytics company Palantir is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to synthesize vast sets of disparate health data to understand how the novel coronavirus is spreading, the company confirmed to FedScoop.”

“Palantir said it is not involved in the harvesting or storage of health data but is working with the CDC and HHS to provide its Foundry suite of tools to analyze the agencies’ COVID-19 data. The set of data tools has the power to ‘clean’ and ‘harmonize’ the information flowing in from local hospitals, states and other sources related to the virus, according to a source with knowledge of the arrangement between the company and the government.”

“A Palantir spokeswoman told FedScoop in an email that in the U.S. the company is ‘continuing to work closely with our partners at HHS, including CDC, and across the government to provide our technology to ensure agencies have the most comprehensive, accurate and timely view of information as the COVID-19 response effort evolves.’”

“Palantir’s past work with federal agencies, like U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has raised concerns with privacy advocates. But the company was quick to emphasize that it is not collecting data itself around the coronavirus — it’s merely providing tools to agencies that have the authority to handle sensitive health data.”

“’We are not mining the data, we are giving them the platform, analytical tools, and supporting data pipelines to enable them to do their own modeling,’ Courtney Bowman, lead global privacy and civil liberties engineer for Palantir, said in a statement.”

“The chief challenge of tracking the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. is the lack of a central clearinghouse of public health data that can inform policymakers on the virus’s movement and any trends. The tools that Palantir is providing aim to help solve the challenge of working in a highly ‘federated’ health care structure, said one source…” Read the full article here.

Source: Inside Palantir’s work with the CDC, HHS to synthesize COVID-19 data – By Jackson Barnett, April 2, 2020. FedScoop.




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