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Big Ag wants farm data privacy

Soybean Groups Join to Protect Ag Data. From: http://www.agandfoodlaw.com/

Agricultural data analysis and use may the next big development in agricultural production, but it also has caused some privacy concerns among producers. In response to those concerns, the American Soybean Association has joined with other soybean groups to form an “ag data working group” to help provide information to producers, according to an article by RFDTV available here.

The group had its first meeting recently on issues such as ownership of data, privacy, compatibility and interoperability, quality, compensation, managing, storing, security, and cost.

Monsanto Co., which acquired Climate Corp., a data analytics company, in October recently stated its support for industry-wide standards for managing farm data. The Climate Corp. is forming an Open Agricultural Data Alliance (OADA) of providers and farmers to find a consensus on standards for farm data privacy, security, and interoperability.

Many are embracing the benefits “big data” offers while also sharing those concerns of the soybean groups, according to an article by St. Louis Public Radio, available here.

Climate Corp.’s Director of Product Management, Tristan D’Orgeval, says giving farmers accurate weather information “takes huge amounts of data from many different sources, including radar, rain gauges, and satellites.” This year, the company “launched a paid version of its service, called Climate Pro” to corn farmers in nine Midwestern states. The quality of the data, however, is limited to the data people share with the system.

For more information on biotechnology, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here: http://www.agandfoodlaw.com/2014/05/soybean-groups-join-to-protect-ag-data.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+agandfoodlaw+%28The+United+States+Agricultural+%26+Food+Law+and+Policy+Blog+-+Home+Page+and+Listserv%29

R.J. Steinert's picture

I'm all for farmers choosing who they share their data with. I imagine the farmers participating in a data collection program like Monsanto's Climate Pro are worried that their data is going to be sold to the highest bidder and that highest bidder might not have their best interests in mind. After all it is Monsanto's legal obligation to maximize returns to their investors. Has anyone here read the Climate Pro "Terms Of Service" (TOS)?