• Rakr Inc.

Is your Farming Data private? Here’s the scoop

Most farms in Canada use data these days – especially as we’re relying more on automated processes to increase our productions and manage safety. The Internet of Things is expanding. By many accounts, the use of precision data is here to stay and will only become more ubiquitous – but with all this new information, letting it into the wrong hands could be risky.

If you’re looking at a new piece of technology and wondering what will happen to your data, you’re not alone. The key is knowing what to look for when engaging with agritech companies.

Let’s take a look at exactly how farming data works and how we can keep agriculture data secure.

The Risks of Rogue Data

We know that the biggest concern for many farmers across the country is that valuable information about their agribusiness might be given away to unknown third parties. This could include data on things like seeding, plant fertility, yield and more – all of which could theoretically be sold off to the highest bidder.

As we enter a new era of mass data being generated by our farms, it’s important to know that you’re in control of your information. However, at this time, general practices can be far from transparent. It’s crucial to understand from the get-go who has access to your data; after all, would you just hand out your tax return or birth certificate? If not, then it may be worth thinking more about your privacy.

Companies who have access to your various farming maps are able to see exactly how the farm works, possibly gaining knowledge that you would rather keep hidden – such as new innovations or ‘secret recipes’. Unfortunately, the responsibility is often being left with farmers to manage their data privacy: agritech manufacturers often expect you to navigate their fine print in order to identify their ‘opt out’ clause to stop data from being shared. This just isn’t good enough!

How We Can Keep Our Data Secure

This issue is front and center of the agriculture industry in Canada right now, but every agricultural equipment manufacturer will approach this with a different level of commitment. Plus, various countries often have different ideas on the importance of data security. Thankfully, here in Canada we’re quite on top of things, with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) outlining a code for managing personal data in commercial activities, along with various principals to help further define best practice for data collection in farms.

Even with this framework in place, there is still plenty of wiggle room. That’s why it’s so important at this stage to do your research into the agritech companies you partner with, and understand the parameters they use to keep your data safe.

For example, at Rakr we believe in the power of information, and we want to keep that power in your hands. Our product, the NeatMeter, is a smart device that collects information from your farm and advises you on your energy use via a corresponding app. This not only empowers you to save money across the many machines we all rely on these days, but we have also committed to having your data available to download at all times, so you know exactly what is being collected and when.

To find out more about how we guarantee your privacy, please get in touch any time.

Agritech in farming has transformed our sector; we just need to ensure that the information gathered by these machines is being used in a safe and desirable way. If we can strike this perfect balance, then agriculture – whether you’re farming in Ontario, Alberta or anywhere else around the country – will continue to thrive.

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