Women in tech organization AnitaB.org stated that it has dropped Peter Thiel’s Palantir as a sponsor of the largest conference for women in computing, the Grace Hopper Celebration, over the company’s work with ICE.
Business Insider reports that the largest conference for women in computing, the Grace Hopper Celebration, has dropped data firm Palantir as a sponsor due to the companies work with the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Palantir has come under fire previously for providing software to ICE which is used to screen illegal immigrants, the firm renewed a $50 million contract with ICE just this month.
Robert Read, Anitab.org’s Business Development and Partnership Success Vice President, said in a statement to Business Insider: “At AnitaB.org we do our best to promote the basic rights and dignity of every person in all that we do, including our corporate sponsorship and events program. Palantir has been independently verified as providing direct technology assistance that enables the human rights abuses of asylum seekers and their children at US southern border detention centers. Therefore, at this time, Palantir will no longer be a sponsor of Grace Hopper Celebration 2019.”
The decision comes shortly after a Change.org petition calling for the AnitaB.org Board of Trustees and Grace Hoopper Celebration organizers to drop Palantir. It read: “GHC cannot claim to be for all women in tech as long as it turns a blind eye towards ICE’s human rights abuses. A large number of workers in the tech industry are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds, and are current or potential targets of ICE’s actions…Our visions for equality, diversity, and inclusion should not just apply within our industry, but towards the impact our industry has on the public as well.”
Previously, the Grace Hopper Celebration had dropped Uber as a partner over its treatment of female employees.