|Multi Request||Palantir documents, University of Mass.|
|Submitted||March 14, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, I hereby request the following records:
Media reports state that the police departments around the country have made use of Palantir's software (https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2018-palantir-peter-thiel/). Therefore, I am requesting the following records related to the above program:
* Any software and algorithms developed for the implementation of the program. I'm particularly interested in any algorithms that have a public policy outcome, such as providing guidance on a policy or an assessment of an individual. More generally, I would like any software that was developed by or with, given to, used by, purchased or licensed to this agency for implementation of the above referenced program. This would include original source code, any compiled binaries (also known as executables), spreadsheets, program scripts, and other digital materials used to calculate any data in the above program. It would also include the input training data for machine learning algorithms. Collectively, these responsive materials will be referred to as "the software" in the following paragraphs.
* All instructional materials, presentations and presentation materials (including recorded video and audio, PowerPoint files, prepared remarks, and slides formats), and other guidance on the use of "the software." This includes any notes taken during meetings that discussed the use of the software, any explanations (whether internally or externally generated) of how the software works, and any other document that has been used to help explain the use of "the software" to any party, including internal documentation, public relations materials, and executive summaries. This also includes any description of input and output data fields that will aid in understanding the type of information that is submitted to the software, and that is produced by the software.
* A copy of any privacy impact assessments, use policies, standard operating procedures, data retention policies, legal opinions, warranties, non-disclosure agreements, contracts, liability waivers, insurance agreements, Requests for Proposals, Responses to Requests for Proposal, Memorandums of Understanding, Letters of Interest, usage policies, or informal agreements that reference "the software" or otherwise guide it use or the relationship between this agency and the provider or developer of the software.
* A copy of any funding opportunity announcements, grant applications and grantor status/progress reports, reports to legislative bodies, annual reports that mention the use of the Software, as well as audit records, including but not limited to security audits of the software, misuse reports, and reports to oversight bodies.
* A copy of any validation studies conducted with respect to the program or with respect to any software or algorithms used in connection with the program, and a copy of any records pertaining to inquiries for the need of validation studies, or discussion of potential or actual validation studies. By “validation study,” I mean any study designed to assess how accurate the program is in predicting what it is supposed to predict, or to assess whether the program may err in the direction of either under- or overestimating likelihoods or predicted outcomes, or may produce any results that are biased or unexpected in any way.
* For the aspects of the software that require an input, for example, to compute a value, we request a copy of the five most recent sets of data that were used for input, as well as the five most recent outputs of the software, in whatever their native format is. If these inputs or outputs include exempt information, we ask that you exempt only that information which is specifically exempted from law, and provide the other material.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes. It will be used in the course of reporting for Motherboard, VICE’s science and technology website (www.motherboard.vice.com).
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Massachusetts Public Records Law request, copied below, and originally submitted on March 14, 2019. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.
We received your email request on March 15, 2019 for our records indicating any use of Palantir's software by the Police Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Though the University can continue to receive record requests via email, we have created an online request form that can help to expedite your request. This form is available at https://www.umassp.edu/public-records/public-records-requests, and we would appreciate your use of this form for all future records requests.
It has been determined the records you request are not being held or maintained by the University of Massachusetts Police Department. We do not use Palantir’s software.
Under Chapter 66 of the General Laws, you have the right to appeal our disposition of your request to the Supervisor of Public Records, Office of the Secretary of State, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> and the right to seek judicial review of an unfavorable decision by commencing a civil action in the superior court under subsection (c) of section 10A.
Patrick T. Archbald
Deputy Chief of Police
University of Massachusetts Amherst Police Department
585 East Pleasant Street
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003
FBINA Class #221