Welcome to the PCL Blog

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over its government.” - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Keeping “well enough informed” in the complex, rapidly changing world of “big data” is no easy task. Every day, we become better able to extract information from the world around us and put it to use. Often, these uses are beneficial. Easy access to more and better data can dramatically improve work in a wide variety of fields, from countering terrorism, to fighting fraud at banks, to charting the spread of disease, to more efficiently distributing food in conflict zones. However, if we are to abide by Mr. Roosevelt’s prescription for protecting our freedom, then it is critical that as we enjoy these benefits we also fully understand the potential effect these capabilities can have on our privacy and fundamental civil liberties.

The Palantir privacy and civil liberties team exists to keep pace with the ever-evolving world of privacy and civil liberties. To this end, we keep abreast of the latest laws and policies that implicate big data, current events that raise new concerns, and new technological developments that might give rise to novel threats to our liberties or offer innovative new ways to protect them.  We work with some of the best academics and experts in the world who, along with a bevy of international privacy and civil liberties advocacy organizations, help us stay up-to-speed with the ever-evolving world of privacy and civil liberties, and so we want to do our part in enabling Mr. Roosevelt’s well informed society by passing on what we learn.

Enter this blog. We’re not here to stir controversy, nor will we simply use this space as another opportunity to talk about Palantir. What we will do is highlight some of the privacy and civil liberties issues that are getting our attention, often with a technical spin born of the work we do here.  In addition, we also will keep you posted on some of the privacy- and civil liberties-themed events that we are privileged to attend (and often sponsor).

We appreciate your taking the time to check out this blog, and we hope you will check back regularly for updates.  In the meantime, without any further ado, on to our inaugural post…