How much of Palantir’s revenue comes from haram?

Palantir earns its revenue from the following revenue sources:

  • Government:

Includes revenue generated from providing data processing software to the United States government to assist in counterterrorism investigations and defense and intelligence operations.

  • Commercial: 

Includes revenue generated from providing data processing software to the consumer, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrials, telecommunications, and transportation sectors.

The contributions from each of Palantir’s revenue segments in their 2020 annual report were as follows:

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

None of Palantir’s revenue comes from anything inherently haram.

Does Palantir rely on interest to operate?

Year-to-Date
for period ended
6/30/2021
Fiscal year
ended
12/31/2020
Fiscal year
ended
12/31/2019
Interest Income $748$4,680$15,090
Total Revenue$716,876$1,092,673$742,555
Interest Expense $2,430$14,139$3,061
Total Expenses$977,038$2,266,352$1,318,999
Interest Income / Revenue0.10%0.43%2.03%
Interest Expense / Total Expense0.25%0.62%0.23%
*Numbers in thousands, U.S. dollars

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

Riba is used but not relied upon in Palantir’s operations.

What is Palantir’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) impact?

Environment

Palantir offers data processing software used to help companies track and reduce carbon emissions.

Social

Palantir’s technologies have had some positive impacts on stakeholders, including helping institutions and organizations fight terrorism and fraud.

In addition, Palantir worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

That said, many privacy experts have voiced concerns regarding Palantir’s software being used to infringe on people’s privacy.

In 2019, Palantir entered a Pentagon defense contract known as Project Maven, aiming to use AI technologies for deploying and monitoring unmanned aerial vehicles.

While in some cases it may not be haram to use such technologies for defense purposes, it certainly is a concern when the technology is used to make decisions about who to kill.

Governance

I2 Inc sued Palantir alleging fraud, conspiracy, and copyright infringement over Palantir’s algorithm. 

Shyam Sankar, Palantir’s director of business development at the time and current COO, used a private eye company as the cutout for obtaining I2’s code. 

I2 settled out of court for $10 million in 2011.

Practical Islamic Finance concludes:

While the products that Palantir sells are not inherently damaging, the customer base of Palantir include many authorities that can, and we suspect will, abuse the powers that Palantir’s technologies puts at their disposal.

Accordingly, we deem Palantir to likely have a negative ESG impact because of the constituency of its customer base.

Comfort Rating

From Palantir’s business, financial, and ESG reviews, Practical Islamic Finance rates Palantir stock as:

Uncomfortable to invest in from a Halal perspective.

Justification for our rating

That is why We ordained for the Children of Israel that whoever takes a life—unless as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land—it will be as if they killed all of humanity; and whoever saves a life, it will be as if they saved all of humanity.

The Holy Quran – Surah Al-Ma’idah verse 32

The consequences of unjustly causing the death of someone are severe in Islam. Since Palantir’s technology will likely be directly involved in making decisions regarding who to kill, and there is no way for third parties to verify that these killings are in fact justified, we are uncomfortable owning shares in Palantir’s business.

Sources

Palantir Q2 2021 10-Q 

Palantir and U.S. Government to Continue Work on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Verse (5:32) – English Translation

Net zero is a data integration problem: How Palantir enables data-driven decarbonization | by Palantir 

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