Valuable farm data could be given away unwittingly

DATA CONTROL: Academic speaks to farmers about unknowingly giving away farm data.
DATA CONTROL: Academic speaks to farmers about unknowingly giving away farm data.

Agreeing to conditions in digital farming software could see farmers giving away valuable farm data.

Associate Professor Leanne Wiseman will speak abut how farmers could gain the upper-hand in data ownership at the upcoming Farming Together conference in June.

“Some terms about control and access to farm data can often be can be locked under layers of detail. This can create a power imbalance between multinational agribusinesses and small farming businesses, as farmers are often unaware of the terms upon which they are giving away their farm data,” Dr Wiseman said.

“A recent extension of Australian unfair contract laws to include small farming business contracts provides a golden opportunity for a rethink as to the approaches to farm data ownership,” she said.

Dr Wiseman is leading research into the legal issues arising from the collection, aggregation and dissemination of on-farm data through the Accelerating Precision Agriculture to Decision Agriculture P2D Project.

Farming Together is a two-year, $13.8m initiative from the federal government designed to help agricultural groups value-add, secure premium pricing, scale-up production, attract capital investment, earn new markets or secure lower input costs.