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22 Nov 2019

Joseph Menn, Reuters

Activist investors to pressure privately held Palantir on human rights

The Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which claims more than 150 institutional members representing $4 trillion in managed assets, faults Palantir for contracts with government agencies including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement... “Through its multimillion-dollar U.S. government contracts, Palantir has played a mission critical role in enabling ICE to carry out its activities,” the group said in a presentation provided to Reuters in advance of its announcement. “The company is failing to fulfill its human rights responsibilities.” 

Palantir said the report was misleading. “We always welcome an honest and open dialogue when it comes to complex societal issues, so it is disappointing to see a one-sided view,” said Courtney Bowman, Palantir’s director of privacy and civil liberties engineering... Though Palantir itself is private, the group says investors include such publicly traded entities as BlackRock, Allianz and Alger... “The relative impunity of private companies heightens the risks of human rights impacts, increasing the need for private equity investors to push those companies through other means to respect human rights,” said alliance Director Paloma Munoz Quick.