Palantir’s ICE Contracts ‘Raise Human Rights Concerns’, Report Warns As Firm Prepares To Go Public

With Palantir Technologies Inc. prepared to go public this week through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Amnesty International has released a report condemning the data-mining firm over “human rights concerns” raised by its contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Titled Failing to Do Right: The Urgent Need for Palantir to Respect Human Rights, the report, which was released on Monday, concludes that Palantir is “failing to conduct human rights due diligence around its contracts with ICE,” a press release from Amnesty states.

As a result, the organization states, the company, which was co-founded by Peter Thiel, runs a “high risk” of “contributing to human rights violations of asylum-seekers and migrants through the ways

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Amsterdam and Helsinki launch algorithm registries to bring transparency to public deployments of AI

Amsterdam and Helsinki today launched AI registries to detail how each city government uses algorithms to deliver services, some of the first major cities in the world to do so. An AI Register for each city was introduced in beta today as part of the Next Generation Internet Policy Summit, organized in part by the European Commission and the city of Amsterdam. The Amsterdam registry currently features a handful of algorithms, but it will be extended to include all algorithms following the collection of feedback at the virtual conference to lay out a European vision of the future of the internet, according to a city official.

Each algorithm cited in the registry lists datasets used to train a model, a description of how an algorithm is used, how humans utilize the prediction, and how algorithms were assessed for potential bias or risks. The registry also provides citizens a way

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Display Tech Company VIA optronics Goes Public to Surpass Organic Growth, Says CEO on Cheddar

VIA optronics ($VIAO) made its debut on the NYSE Friday, with an initial public offering priced on the low end of expectations to raise $93 million, but the display technology company still sees a bright future ahead.

“We are right now at a breaking point. We are an emerging market, and we cannot grow that much as we want organically so we have to put some investment in,” said Jurgen Eichner, Via optronics CEO. “This is basically what we need the proceeds for.”

The initial public offering was priced at $15, but opened at $12. By mid-afternoon shares were trading around $10.

VIA builds sunlight-readable displays with wide temperature ranges and screens with touch and gesture features. Customers of the German-based manufacturer include household names like Dell, HP, Ferrari, and BMW.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the need for screen tech is still widespread and growing, according to the CEO. 


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Global Public Safety LTE and 5G Market (2020 to 2025) – by Technology, Solutions, Applications, and Services

The “Public Safety LTE and 5G Market by Technology, Solutions, Applications, and Services 2020 – 2025” report has been added to’s offering.

This report provides an analysis of the global public safety LTE and 5G industry including an assessment of the technology, market size, and key trends within the public safety LTE and 5G industry. The report includes public safety LTE and 5G market sizing and analysis from 2020 through 2025. The report evaluates the ecosystem including the major players, strategies, and offerings. It also assesses technology impact and the role of 5G in the evolution of public safety broadband.

The market for public safety and other mission-critical communications is rapidly developing as technologies are evolving to provide solutions necessary to meet the emerging demand for improved voice, data, and machine-oriented communications. The public safety community increasingly relies upon IP-based solutions for first responders (ambulance, police, and fire) and

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Conspiracy Theories and Public Health

Here’s the latest news from the global pandemic.

Conspiracy theories and public health

As if ventilation, droplets and aerosolized particles weren’t enough to keep track of, conspiracy theories may be yet another factor in the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Beliefs in conspiracy theories about the pandemic could be hurting public health efforts to stop the spread in the U.S., according to a study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania published in the journal Social Science & Medicine. It found that beliefs in conspiracies increased from late March to mid-July, possibly leading to lower acceptance of public health measures like wearing masks.

According to the survey of 840 people, 28% of respondents believed in March that the Chinese government created the virus as a bioweapon; the figure rose to 37% in July. While 24% of people believed in March that the U.S. Centers for Disease

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Fauci cautions that a COVID-19 vaccine won’t eliminate the need for masks and public health measures

Video above: COVID vaccine tested, experts say no corners cutDr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that even an effective COVID-19 vaccine won’t replace the need for other public health measures, such as wearing a mask, social distancing and washing hands.Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the vaccine will not be 100% effective and taken by 100% of the population — which means there still will be room for COVID-19 to spread.”it is not going to eliminate the need to be prudent and careful with our public health measures,” he said in a Facebook Live conversation with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.Fauci said he’s being “practical” when he says, “I think if we can get 75 to 80% of the population vaccinated, I think that would be a really good accomplishment.”Fauci’s comments were made as nearly half of U.S. states now report a rise in … Read More

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Real estate tech company Porch adds five new directors to board ahead of public stock listing

Seattle-based Porch today named five directors that will join the company’s board when it goes public later this year.

a large brick building with a clock: Porch’s Seattle headquarters. (Porch Photo)

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Porch’s Seattle headquarters. (Porch Photo)

The real estate technology venture and home improvement marketplace announced plans in July to become publicly traded through a merger that values the Seattle company at $523 million. Porch will combine with PropTech Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

The board members will join on Porch’s first day of public trading. They include:

  • Javier Saade, founder and managing partner of Impact Master Holdings; venture partner at Fenway Summer Ventures; former associate administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Chris Terrill, former CEO of HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List; board member of Realogy Holdings Corp. and Infogroup.
  • Regi Vengalil, CFO of Egencia (Expedia’s corporate travel division); former global head of corporate development and strategy at Expedia Group. He will serve as
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Society for Science & the Public President & CEO and Publisher, Science News, Receives 2020 National Science Board Public Service Award

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Society for Science & the Public today announced that the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation, has awarded Maya Ajmera with the 2020 Public Service Award. Ajmera is President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.

NSB is recognizing Ajmera for “inspiring generations of young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators through the Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organization best known for its world class science research competitions, award winning science journalism, and expansive outreach and equity programs.”

The Public Service Award is presented to individuals and groups each year that have contributed substantially to increasing public understanding of science and engineering.

Ajmera has helped to transform the nearly 100-year-old Society, strengthening the Society’s science research competitions. She spearheaded

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