After declaring the Wuhan coronavirus as a pandemic, health officials are urging the public to stay indoors, practice good hygiene, and follow social distancing. The way it stands right now, there is still no cure or vaccine for COVID-19 available. Aside from preventing new infections, efficient forms of detecting and monitoring of individuals or communities with known exposure to the virus can prove useful. As such, Palantir Technologies is helping the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US and National Health Service in the UK.
The private software outfit is known for supplying analytics and trends based on big data operations. To aid in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak, it is shifting its systems to monitor people who are infected as well as those speculated to be carriers. The rising numbers of cases around the globe are already threatening the stability of economies and exacting a heavy toll on healthcare systems.
TechCrunch points out that The Wall Street Journal highlighted that the partnership between Palantir and the CDC began around the middle of March. Using a curated web app to generate a visual representation of the COVID-19 spread, the government agency can communicate with healthcare facilities to address supply and equipment requirements.
Likewise, the company is offering similar services for the British government to assist the NHS in its push against the current health crisis. Sources are stating that the data analytics team are taking careful measures in keeping personal information private.
Furthermore, data related to hospitals, test results, equipment, and supplies are protected. Access will be given to those authorised by the government to make crucial decisions about what actions to take during emergency.
Courtney Bowman, the group's privacy lead, assures the public that protecting sensitive details are "guiding concentrations" and "not afterthoughts." With the approval of both the governments of the US and the UK, Palantir is planning to extend its program to other countries in Europe, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Germany among others are those highlighted by reports.
Nevertheless, there are still sceptics that warn against collaborations between the government and data analytics companies such as Palantir Technologies. As authorities request "extraordinary new surveillance powers" to address the COVID-19 pandemic, there are bound to be some form of violation against privacy down the line.