There’s a good chance data breaches have affected you or someone you know. Although data breaches at financial institutions and retailers directly threaten our bank accounts and grab national headlines, how often do we think about data security on the job?
The Open Ag Data Alliance (OADA) works to bring interoperability, security and privacy to agricultural data. The organization has created an eye-opening list of interactions that illustrate the many data sources and exchanges between farmers and companies. Check out this sampling, and then consider whether data specific to your operation could be breached:
- Farm management: financials and taxes; loans; farm labor; contracts
- Fuel use and purchases
- Land: conservation, tillage practices, access points
- Mapping: GIS, GPS, field boundaries
- Crop seed data: genetics, varieties, seed technologies
- Water management: source, usage
- Yield data
- Soil and fertility: soil tests, mapping
- Livestock: breed, genetics, feed ingredients, additives
- Transport and storage
- Commodity prices: crop value; potential profit or loss
Although OADA establishes the standards companies should consider adopting as they manage data, Case IH has developed a list of questions farmers should ask of their precision technology providers. Several of these questions are worth asking any supplier you work with and share data with. If suppliers can’t provide solid answers or if their responses reflect they haven’t given it much thought, it might be time to find a new business partner. Or, at the very least, understand your risks.
Data ownership and access is extremely important to Case IH. We created our own guiding principles, which are outlined in our latest brochure for AFS Connect™. Case IH is a founding member of OADA. We believe each farmer owns his or her data and is the sole decision-maker about what data can be shared with whom.
Data management and security deserve your attention. We will continue to explore the topic and share what we learn. Meanwhile, rest assured that, in our eyes, your data is your data. You control it and the access to it. Period.