The data analysis company, known in particular for running the deportation machine of the Trump administration, is expanding aggressively into Europe. Who are its clients?
Palantir was founded in 2004, in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Its founders wanted to help intelligence agencies organize the data they collected, so that they would identify threats before they could strike. It is widely rumored that its tools helped find Osama Bin Laden prior to his assassination in 2011 (another theory is that the US simply bribed Pakistani officials).
But Palantir is not good at making money. The company has never been profitable, in large part because it had to customize its products for each client, making economies of scale impossible. A new product launched in 2017, called Foundry, is supposed to solve this problem. Europe became the testing ground for this new commercial strategy, which relies largely on Foundry.
AlgorithmWatch asked close to forty German companies about their links to Palantir and browsed hundreds of open sources to map Palantir’s clients.
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