Prioritizing farm data protection and control

Prioritizing farm data protection and control
Feb 06, 2019

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Some producers are reluctant to share data, Farm Credit Canada survey results suggest

Staff Writer
Some producers have become more hesitant to share their data with outside organizations and suppliers over the past two years, a recent Farm Credit Canada (FCC) survey says. 
A quarter “of the more than 2,000 Canadian farmers questioned” in the FCC Vision Panel are shifting their views towards sharing data, although “58 per cent say their comfort level hasn’t changed,” an FCC release said yesterday.
However, just over 70 per cent of respondents agreed that data treatment policies influence their selection of an ag technology provider.
Many producers prioritize privacy protection and control over where and how farm data is used, Fred Wall, FCC marketing vice-president, said in the release.
“At the same time, most see the benefits of using technology to improve their operations, reduce paperwork and help them make better decisions in a growing and dynamic industry,” he said.
FCC’s survey is the largest of its kind on this topic, Wall told today.
“We think Canadian producers will be very interested to see what their peers have to say,” he said. “Some producers, who are feeling more cautious about data sharing, now know that they aren't alone in feeling that way.  
“The survey (also) reveals that trust is an obstacle to realizing the full potential of the use of agricultural technology in Canada. Producers have lots of ideas for how their data can be used to improve their operations, but trust remains a key obstacle to adopting new tools,” he added.
Indeed, 69 per cent of survey respondents agreed technology can improve the efficiency of their operations, reduce costs and provide stronger yields, and 65 per cent agreed these new tools can support management control and decision-making. 
The survey results suggest that data transparency is important to farmers, Wall said.
“We think transparency is a critical first step to closing this trust gap,” he added.
“We encourage our customers to tap into new technology and to be well informed as to how their data is being handled by their technology partners,” Wall said.
Members of FCC’s Vision Panel can express their ideas and opinions pertaining to Canadian ag by visiting 
Avalon_Studio/E+ photo


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