The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon

Survey: Farmers embrace Big Data (with fears)

October 24, 2014 --

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By American Farm Bureau Federation

A survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation shows more farmers are reaping the benefits of the latest agricultural technologies, but most remain wary of risks involved with big data collection. Fully 77.5 percent of farmers surveyed said they feared regulators and other government officials might gain access to their private information without their knowledge or permission. Nearly 76 percent of respondents said they were concerned others could use their information for commodity market speculation without their consent.

“We want to be sure that farmers’ and ranchers’ data are protected, and we’re asking the hard questions to make sure that happens,” AFBF President Bob Stallman said. “Farmers should know who owns their data and how they plan to use it. It’s up to companies that collect the data to make all that clear.” Farmers overwhelmingly agree: More than 81 percent believe they retain ownership of their farm data, according to Farm Bureau. Yet, it’s still unclear to most (more than 82 percent) how companies intend to use the farmers’ data.



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