Ottawa’s AI ethics test didn’t consider Palantir’s controversial work with U.S. law enforcement

The data-mining firm Palantir Technologies has faced criticism from civil rights groups for its work with U.S. immigration authorities and police forces. But officials in Ottawa weren’t able to consider the company’s most controversial work when evaluating whether it should be allowed to bid on some Canadian government artificial intelligence projects, The Logic has learned.

Companies wanting to qualify as bidders had to outline their qualifications, provide examples of their past work and show how they “address ethical considerations when delivering AI.” But while Palantir submitted a 52-page response filled with case studies, resumes and business principles, it does not appear to have mentioned its contracts with U.S. law enforcement.

“There’s a huge elephant in the room here that they’re not acknowledging,” said Daniel Munro, a senior fellow at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.

    Subscribe now to start reading premium, award-winning journalism.

    By entering your e-mail you consent to receiving commercial electronic messages from The Logic Inc. containing news, updates, offers or promotions about The Logic Inc.’s products and services. You can withdraw your consent at anytime. Please refer to our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

    In-depth, agenda-setting reporting

    Great journalism delivered straight to your inbox.


    Panier Bleu’s future uncertain as Quebec government mulls pulling funding

    1Password acquires Kolide

    Waterloo-based Teledyne to supply Ukraine with more than 800 drones

    Best business newsletter in Canada

    Get up to speed in minutes with insights and analysis on the most important stories of the day, every weekday.

    Exclusive events

    See the bigger picture with reporters and industry experts in subscriber-exclusive events.

    Membership in The Logic Council

    Membership provides access to our popular Slack channel, participation in subscriber surveys and invitations to exclusive events with our journalists and special guests.

    Canada's most influential executives and policymakers are reading The Logic

    • CPP Investments
    • Sun Life Financial
    • C100
    • Amazon
    • Telus
    • Mastercard
    • bdc
    • Shopify
    • Rogers
    • RBC
    • General Motors
    • MaRS
    • Government of Canada
    • Uber
    • Loblaw Companies Limited