Palantir to relocate all UK data processing from the US before regulatory “tsunami” hits

Palantir, a data analytics company known for its ties to the defense and national security communities, plans to move all of its data processing operations to the UK from the US, before experts call a global ‘regulatory tsunami’ affecting cross-border data flows. .

By the end of 2022, Palantir will offer UK customers, including NHS England, the Cabinet Office and the Department of Defense, the ability to move all data processing to the UK, a change which it says will move all data processing to the UK. will better protect them from security issues such as hacks and data leaks. It will offer the same option in the EU, where it also works with public sector clients such as the German police force.

Palantir’s move comes amid growing geopolitical tensions between China, Russia and the West, including the US and the EU, as well as new regulatory regimes that are pushing companies to balkanize their data operations . New laws governing cross-border data flows would affect all businesses that use the internet to operate, with some estimates from risk management consultancy Leviathan Security Group claiming they could increase companies’ IT costs by up to 60%.

A patchwork of new national regulations is emerging around the use of data in India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the EU – including the EU General Data Protection Regulation and Rules -Border Privacy Policy in Asia-Pacific – whose rules apply to any business that provides services to its citizens, no matter where they are located.

Detroit-based Palantir, which employs over 600 people in the UK, processes sensitive national health and safety data for UK public authorities. While it currently already offers the option to host data in the UK, all metadata, such as cybersecurity and software usage information, is processed in the US.

“We want to make the UK fully autonomous, from a regulatory and geopolitical point of view,” said Louis Mosley, who heads Palantir in the UK. “As tensions mount, it could be very disruptive if access were to be interrupted, and we want to reassure our UK customers that there will be no decrease in service levels and no compromises on security. “

Palantir is expected to be one of the first US software companies to take this step. Microsoft announced a similar decision for the EU market in May this year, known as EU Data Boundary, which will go into effect next year.

“We believe more regulations will come, not just for the tech sector. . . but also for all businesses to demonstrate how they use data in a responsible and respectful manner, and not engage in data abuse, ”said Julie Brill, Microsoft’s Privacy Officer, at an FT event. last week.

“Not all of these laws will be the same. The kinds of things Korea, Japan, and India are putting forward right now will be different from Australia, the United States, or Europe. Businesses need to understand the looming regulatory tsunami.

Palantir said it is also responding to a major push from customers to want to contain data processing within the borders where they operate.

“We have seen a huge desire among countries to try to secure supply chains, both at the physical infrastructure level and at the software level,” Mosley said. “Our belief is that these trends will continue and potentially accelerate.”

Palantir also announced plans to hire 250 new staff in the UK and open an office in the north of England in 2022.

Ian Levy, technical director of the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Center, said companies will need to change the way they do business to maintain trust.

“States will begin to take more drastic measures to ensure that their supply chains are protected and their sovereignty. . . technology stacks are isolated from the actions of others and enforce their national values, ”Levy wrote, in a Wired op-ed. “We will see … supply chains and infrastructure redesigned to align with these new realities.


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