FILE PHOTO: Palantir headquarters in Silicon Valley. iStock

Government is in talks with US data analytics company Palantir Technologies in an attempt to strengthen its ‘test and trace’ program for Covid-19, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday (Nov 3).

Officials have been in talks with the tech company about using its Foundry software to manage sensitive contact tracing data, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a “world-beating” national test-and-trace system earlier this year, whereby people with Covid-19 symptoms get tested and the contacts of positive cases are asked to self-isolate.

But the scheme has disappointed and the government’s scientific advisory body said last month its impact on virus transmission was marginal.

Under the contract being discussed, the new modeling will potentially allow to track the spread of the disease through particular sectors or parts of the country, according to the FT report.

Palantir and the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

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