back to article Legal campaigners challenge decision to redact NHS-Palantir contract

British legal campaigners are preparing to take on UK government over its decision to redact swathes of a contract describing how Palantir would work with the country's enormous public health system, the NHS, under the controversial Federated Data Platform. When it was published on the eve of the holiday season in December …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    This is to protect the public, so nobody would get a heart attack when reading it.

  2. jokerscrowbar


    Several civil servants are suffering from Backhanderitis and no doubt some elected officials should immediately have the brown envelopes removed.

    We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data but there is no reason NECS couldn't have done all this to help fund the NHS. Big Pharma would provide a few quid upfront for the system anyway.

    1. Jedit Silver badge

      "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

      Who is "we"? Nobody in their right mind - which excludes neoliberals, of course - wants Big Pharma to get its claws on the NHS in the smallest way. Pharmaceutical companies are meant to be suppliers, not controllers.

      And Palantir aren't even Big Pharma. They're just a data theft outfit, named (lest we forget) for Tolkien's magic spying devices that turn you mad and evil when you use them. They have no purpose for getting engaged in this contract except to sell patients' confidential medical history to insurance companies so they can be targeted with advertisements. Fuck that noise.

      The politico scum behind this most definitely have backhanderitis, you're right about that. It's not a physical ailment, though, it's all in their heads. As such I recommend immediate amputation.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

        Let us not forget, either, who owns Palantir, the company named after the madness-inducing seeing-stones. That's right, Peter Thiel, they guy who said that "[I] no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible". If that sort of political rhetoric sounds familiar, that's because it was very popular in parts of Europe about 90 years ago. (spoiler: that didn't end well)

        The very idea of allowing a firm that was founded primarily to mine data to provide "more security with less privacy" (his words, not mine) access to anything in this country, let alone NHS data, is sheer madness. We should be looking very closely at whom, in our government, has been drinking the fascism kool-aid, and then promptly eject them from office.

        Simply put, this man's personal beliefs are incompatible with democratic freedom and human rights.

        1. Jedit Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

          Indeed. And on the subject of Peter Thiel: he's a literal leech and vampire who believes you can prolong life by receiving blood transfusions from the young. Putting the fox in charge of the henhouse isn't so much the analogy as employing Count Dracula to be the manager of the blood bank.

        2. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

          Perhaps, the current government and civil servants insistent on procuring things from such people are also incompatible with democratic freedom and human rights?

          I mean, it's stating the obvious, isn't it?

          You will own nothing, rent everything, and be happy with it!

        3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

          The thing that astounds me is that my comment above has not garnered even one single downvote, not even from the usual far-right trolls.

      2. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

        Strictly speaking it's not the palantir that sends you mad, it's when you use it normally and instead see Th^WSauron watching you from the other side that it destroys you.

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: "We accept that Big Pharma needs to suck data"

          Well strictly strictly speaking, it's because all the palantírs are connected, so that when you see Sauron, he sees you, and that's what drives you mad.

  3. Julian 8 Silver badge

    I like the idea of my data being shared between trusts, sheesh, some data cannot easily go between local hospitals / doctors, but I do not want it to go to those fscking parasites

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I heard the CIA own a GP surgery which pre-caches all potential patients data just in case they need "medical treatment"...

      Is that a helicopter I hear?

    2. Handlebars

      There are other projects to make it easier for the GP and the consultant to share information for your individual care. NHS orgs also do some population health and service design work with those systems.

      FDP seems like a database looking for a purpose.

      1. Dr Who

        Home grown, open source, privacy driven, fraction of the cost but without the massive lobbying budget and capability.

    3. NeilPost

      I’d be happy just to be able to send a fucking e-mail to my GP.

  4. WonkoTheSane
    Big Brother

    The reason is simple to understand

    Palantir have an "alliance" with Infosys, which numbers the Prime Minister's wife among their largest shareholders.

    TL;DR - It's all about the grift. Again.

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: The reason is simple to understand

      The only real question is: between Peter Thiel and N. R. Narayana Murthy, which one is Sauron, and which one is Saruman?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How can we ever stop this happening

    Again and again and again

    GDPR should have stopped meta etc from slurping up your personal info

    Oh wait they were given a get out jail free card


  6. HarryBl

    Is Jolyon about to lose yet more of his gullible supporter's money?

    1. Handlebars

      I wish someone else was handling this case. That bloke has a pretty bad track record.

  7. DwarfPants

    Well Duh!

    "At the time, an NHS spokesperson said the Foxglove pre-action letter "fundamentally misunderstands how the Federated Data Platform will operate and is totally incorrect.""

    Well that's probably because the contract is unreadable.

  8. s. pam Silver badge

    Perhaps, though I might be sniffing glue today...

    Wouldn't it be bloody amazing if 2 counties trusts shared data instead? I live in Bucks and when I've been hospitalised in Berks every time upon discharge the Berks hospital prints a tome that I have to take to my GP in Bucks so they can SCAN IT IN and add it to my patient record!! FFS we're in the 2nd decade of the 2000's and this is a fecking joke! How can they not "see" the data is astounding. Looks like we need to issue immediate eye & mental acuity tests to the NHS administators to be able to determine if they are FIT to operate the system.

    1. PeterM42

      Re: Perhaps, though I might be sniffing glue today...

      To paraphrase a well known saying:

      Never attribute to money-grabbing, what can be attributed to corruption.

      In my experience, NHS admin are NOT capable of organising the proverbial p1ss-up in a brewery.

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