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Direct and indirect investors engaging Palantir Technologies on human rights risks

The Investor Alliance for Human Rights has developed a human rights risk briefing for both direct and indirect investors in Palantir Technologies, a privately-owned U.S. software company that is reportedly seeking to raise “significant funding” from private investors.

Today’s political climate of growing hostility toward marginalized groups, including as a result of immigration policies and law enforcement practices that disproportionately target communities of color, companies and their investors are exposed to heightened human rights and material risks. Palantir is a developer of big data software that has government contracts with Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), the division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) responsible for workplace raids. As such, Palantir is highly exposed to a range of human rights risks.

The briefing:

  • Examines the human rights risks associated with Palantir’s “mission critical” relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency with a track record of human rights abuses;

  • Identifies the material, legal, reputational, and human capital management risks posed by Palantir’s known business activities, governance practices, and business relationships; and

  • Provides guidance for investors to use when engaging Palantir to implement stronger governance mechanisms, policies, and practices to avoid these risks, in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies are expected to respect human rights by adopting human rights policies and due diligence processes to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights harms associated with their activities, operations, products or services and business relationships.

For responsible investors, holding companies to account and encouraging them to implement meaningful systems that guard against real and potential adverse human rights impacts does not stop at direct holdings. While investors typically only engage public companies on human rights risks, private companies also have a responsibility to respect human rights. This means private equity investors and shareholders of private equity firms should also promote the adoption and continuous improvement of human rights policies, governance and due diligence processes of private companies in their investment value chain. 

The Investor Alliance seeks to support direct and indirect investors in Palantir in their engagements with the company based on the content of the briefing. 

For more information, please contact Paloma Muñoz Quick by e-mail at pmunozquick@iccr.org.