Europe Update

AgGateway Europe Mid-Year Meeting Focuses on Farm Data Control

By Conny Graumans, AgGateway Europe Director

AgGateway Europe hosted its mid-year event for the region on 2 June at Syngenta’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. Because of the pandemic, this was the first European face-to-face meeting for AgGateway members and non-members since November 2019.

Several presentations touched the challenges of managing the farmer’s digital identity, and the complexities of third-party authorization to the farmer’s data.

Throughout Europe, we see several emerging platforms in agriculture that are being designed to support identity management, and to grant and manage permissions to use specific farm data sets for specific purposes.

The essence of these platforms is to put the farmer in charge of their own data. The platform delivers the farmer a complete overview of all the data use permissions the farmer has granted to third parties. In this context, examples of these third parties would include the farmer’s accountant, a fertilizer or pest control advisory service, an advisory system that optimizes an animal feed recipe, a platform that keeps track of the mineral flows (N, P, K) at farm level, and others. Using these permissioning platforms, the farmer is enabled to switch data flows on and off with one simple mouse click.

One important precondition for the functionality of these systems is that both third party permission requests and granted permissions are unambiguously identifiable. For the handling of these identity checks, a European standard is under development.

For background, The European Strategy for data focuses on putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world.

On 23 February 2022, the Commission proposed a regulation on harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act). The Data Act is a key pillar of the European strategy for data. Its main objective is to make Europe a leader in the data economy by harnessing the potential of the ever-increasing amount of industrial data, to benefit the European economy and society.

Members can review the program and view any of the presentations from the Europe Region Mid-Year Meeting by clicking here.