GLP launches legal proceedings over heavily redacted NHS/Palantir deal

GLP launches legal proceedings over heavily redacted NHS/Palantir deal

The Good Law Project (GLP), a not-for-profit organisation, has launched legal proceedings against NHS England after the publication of a deal with Palantir, US tech and spyware firm, is heavily redacted. 


In 2023, it was revealed that Palantir, a US firm that has been heavily involved in the intelligence community, providing software to the US military, security and police agencies, was awarded a lucrative contract with the NHS to establish a Federated Data Platform (FDP), to centralise patient data. impACT International, among hundreds of other organisations, expressed concerns regarding the suitability of the firm to handling incredibly sensitive data and the likely impact on patient-doctor trust this may have on the wider organisation. 


The BMA’s digital lead of the GP committee, one of many expressing concern, stated in June 2023, that: 


“The crux of the doctor-patient relationship is trust, and while GPs are supportive of safe and consensual uses of patient data we want to see it done in a way that won’t damage the confidence that patients have in the profession. The BMA calls on NHSE and the department of health and social care to urgently discuss how they plan to use confidential patient data within this data platform and what role Palantir will play.”


Despite this, upon the release of the contract details in December, a worrying “417 of the 586 pages are completely blacked out”. Due to the nature of the deal, and the concerning attempts to obscure the information of this monumental partnership, the GLP, suggesting that this is not only unacceptable, but also unlawful. Therefore, the non-profit has decided to launch legal proceedings against NHS England to uncover what the redactions reveal. 


In the GLP’s initial opposition to the deal, they reported, through leaked emails, that Palantir had hired Topham Guerin to “pay influencers to attack Good Law Project on social media”. Revealing two established posts, meant for X (formerly Twitter) and what the ‘fee expectations’ were for those willing to post them. 


impACT joins the GLP in demanding the publication of the whole Palantir-NHS document, with no redacted information.