The Government insists that any data that will make a patient personally identifiable are replaced with a pseudonym or aggregated before they’re shared with Palantir. The technology unicorn has already worked with a wide range of government agencies in the US, including the CIA.
However, its Gotham product, which pulls all data relevant to a single person and packages it for police, intelligence and corporate security officials, is likely to always be targeted by campaigners.
Although there is a significant amount of suspicion about the use of personal data by large companies, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted just how useful data analytics can be. This week, China identified about 350,000 people for testing after interrogating phone positioning records to identify individuals who had entered the market in Beijing, where the latest Covid-19 outbreak started. Its usefulness is undeniable.
However, this is largely irrelevant as governments are already issuing contracts, with all parties insisting that the data is secure.
The companies coming to market in the next few months are therefore interesting for investors. Healthcare, cloud computing and AI are all hot areas because, whatever happens in the pandemic, they are still expected to grow earnings. The IPOs should act as signposts for investors to identify sectors worth a closer look.
Garry White is chief investment commentator at wealth management company Charles Stanley