back to article Palantir lobbied UK pensions department for its software to tackle fraud

US spy-tech firm Palantir launched a direct lobbying campaign targeting UK government departments, including the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). According to documents released to The Guardian, the data and analytics business co-founded by Trump financier Peter Thiel suggested ministers were looking at new software …

  1. Roj Blake Silver badge

    "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

    It's worth pointing out that the amount of fraud in the benefits system is lower than:

    * The amount lost to HMRC through tax evasion

    * The amount of benefits left unclaimed

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

      However, it is still a lot of money that could otherwise be helping those who desperately need it.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

        We all know any money saved here would go anywhere but the people who need it most.

        Start sorting out how multinationals are paying less tax than the tea lady that works for them. The rest will sort itself out.

        1. Sir Sham Cad

          Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

          Any money saved will only go into "Health" or "Education" that is provided by a private provider with links to the current Government. Gotta replenish the trough.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

        Given the media only really like sensational stories, it is perhaps noteworthy that the media hasn’t reported on well off people committing welfare and benefit fraud.

        But then as we saw with the PPE contracts and general handouts to business during CoViD, the government didn’t really care about the amount of fraud being committed and have made very limited efforts to investigate. Clearly, the person on benefits who claims to have made the required number of job applicant ions per week, but has actually been creative, is a bigger villain than a Tory party donor living in a tax haven…

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

          One wonders how many of these mandatory job applications are currently clogging up recruiter inboxes stopping actual contractors from getting near the smaller amount of roles available.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "fraud in the benefits system is lower than"

      Just like the real amount of voter fraud in the US elections of 2020 and 2022 despite a wannabe despot crying wolf almost every day about it. Are Palantir involved with the US elections?

      Somehow this despot refuses to admit that the vast majority of people sent to jail for voter fraud are from his party. Funny that.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

      But Benefit Fraud is seen by many people in the UK and the media as a massive issue that is costing "Them" personally huge amounts of money. The simply fact it is benefits and this is associated with "scroungers" in the eyes of those who support a crackdown. That the outcome is only going to benefit a large, unregulated US corporation is a minor detail, "scroungers, miscreants and fraudsters" will have been stopped (allegedly).

    4. Zzxap

      Re: "Reduce fraud in the social security benefits system"

      And if they solve the problems in the DWP you don't think HMRC are going to ask questions?

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    showing how the DWP might "recover large amounts of fraud"

    No danger at all here of

    a) Huge amounts of personal data from everybody, whether they claim benefits or not, being sucked into the Palantir panopticon for indeterminate use "because it's necessary for it to work properly".

    b) Prosecutions being launched on the basis of being accused of fraud by a computer system, for unclear reasons.

    Did they really learn nothing from the Post Office Horizon scandal, or is it that they're thinking "who cares, it's only people on benefits anyway"?

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: showing how the DWP might "recover large amounts of fraud"

      The DWP is already causing another scandal on a similar scale, with the benefit claw back scheme for people who they have randomly decided were not in the UK during Covid.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Palantir to tackle fraud

    Somehow, that strikes me as an ultimate irony.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I hate being wrong

    but I keep thinking it couldn't get worse... then it does.

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    And consulting for a few hours per week/month. Only open to those who opened doors when they were in government

  6. s. pam Silver badge

    Que Surpris'

    Wow who'd a thunk it that a data mining secretive company with almost no regulatory oversight would want access to our data?

  7. Bertieboy

    Is it me? The concept of allowing our private data into the hands of a foreign power smacks of treason!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better than the Post Office Fiasco

    Coming to your news feeds soon. Stay tuned.

  9. Felonmarmer

    I still can't get over the fact that they called themselves Palantir.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kind of makes sense

    In a gerontocracy like the UK, where Pensions are now estimated to outstrip all other government depts for spending by 2025.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Kind of makes sense

      The government could very simply stop using the banks/ money markets to put currency into circulation and simply use the pension and benefits system.

      Based on a comparison of the global financial crisis QE and CoViD furlough; furlough delivered greater economic benefit to UK residents…

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