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Palantir Dropped by Berkeley Privacy Conference After Complaints

  • Privacy Law Scholars Conference ends sponsorship arrangement
  • Critics of data-mining company cite work on U.S. immigration
Palantir offices in Palo Alto, California.

Palantir offices in Palo Alto, California.

Photographer: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An influential digital privacy group affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, said it severed financial ties with Palantir Technologies Inc., the controversial data-mining company co-founded by Peter Thiel.

Palantir had been a sponsor of the Privacy Law Scholars Conference since 2011, but the relationship became untenable in America’s divisive political environment. Attendees of the annual convention, which took place last week, voiced serious opposition to affiliations with Palantir, said Chris Hoofnagle, an organizer of the event and a law professor at Berkeley. Critics of the company cite its involvement in military and police surveillance, along with helping enforce President Donald Trump‘s family separation policy on the southern border.