Palantir, the all-seeing US tech company, could soon have the data of millions of NHS patients. My response? Yikes! | Arwa Mahdawi

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Peter Thiel has a terrible case of RBF – reclusive billionaire face. I’m not being deliberately mean-spirited, just stating the indisputable fact that the tech entrepreneur, a co-founder of PayPal, doesn’t exactly give off feel-good vibes. There is a reason why pretty much every mention of Thiel tends to be peppered with adjectives such as “secretive”, “distant” and “haughty”. He has cultivated an air of malevolent mystique. It’s all too easy to imagine him sitting in a futuristic panopticon, torturing kittens and plotting how to overthrow democracy.

It’s all too easy to imagine that scenario because (apart from the torturing kittens part, obviously), that is basically how the 54-year-old billionaire already spends his days. Thiel was famously one of Donald Trump’s biggest donors in 2016; this year, he is one of the biggest individual donors to Republican politics. While it is hardly unusual for a billionaire to throw money at…

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