Farmobile Addresses Data Privacy Concerns in Contracts

Lauren Manning indicated late last week at AgFunderNews Online that, “Farmobile, an ag data collection and software service, is now offering farmers legal agreements that govern the ownership and control of their agronomic data.

“Developed in response to farmer feedback and concerns about the risks associated with sharing farm data, the agreements seek to simplify the relationship between a farmer and an Agricultural Technology Provider (ATP). This includes any company that uses a farmer’s data to provide decision support, field mapping, prescriptions, or other similar services.

“As big data becomes more common in farming, many farmers have expressed concerns about the data ownership rights involved. Once a farmer shares his or her data with a third party, he or she sometimes has little control over what happens to that data next. The vendor may sell the data to a marketing group or use the data for other purposes unrelated to servicing the farmer. Many farmers who use decision support services have no clue who has their data or what is being done with it.”

Ms. Manning added that, “In developing the agreements, Farmobile worked with the Farm Bureau Federation. Last year, the Farm Bureau led a coalition of ATPs and farm groups to develop the Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data. This document outlines a number of policies to guide ATPs and farmers in creating clear legal relationships about farm data. The document underscores education, ownership, access, control, and transparency among other rubrics.

“‘To the best of my knowledge, Farmobile is the only company that offers farmers a way to receive value for their data,’ a spokeswoman for the Farm Bureau told AgFunderNews. ‘Some of my members believe the data provides them sufficient value by reducing input costs, etc. But the majority believe that if companies are benefitting from the use of their data, farmers too should benefit.'”

Recall that earlier this month, the Farm Bureau stated in a news release that: “A coalition of major farm organizations, commodity groups and agriculture technology providers (ATPs) debuted a tool designed to help farmers understand how their data will be used when they adopt precision agriculture technologies.”

In her AgFunderNews article, Ms. Manning also noted that, “According to the Farm Bureau spokeswoman…'[F]armobile’s agreements are currently under review with the Farm Bureau’s Transparency Evaluator, which will assess whether the agreement comports with the Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data.’ [Jason Tatge, Farmobile founder and CEO] is one of the 37 signatories to the document and was a member of the group that developed the role of the Transparency Evaluator.”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.