This Toolkit has the practical purpose of providing the conceptual basis and example clauses for general, scalable guidelines for everyone dealing with the production, ownership, sharing and use of data in agriculture. The initial version contains examples inspired by the four existing codes of conduct on farm data sharing in different regions. Users can combine clauses and export their set as a basis for a tailored code or for contract clauses.
Codes of conduct, voluntary guidelines and sets of principles around how to transparently govern farm data are a recent thing. While laws and regulations that govern personal data are becoming more and more common, legislation still does not cover data flows in many industries where different actors in the value chain need to share data while protecting all involved from the risks of data sharing. Data in these value chains is currently governed through private data contracts and licensing agreements, which are normally very complex and over which data producers have very little negotiating power.
Codes of conduct have started to emerge to fill the legislative void, setting common standards for data sharing contracts. Codes provide principles that the signatories agree to apply in their contracts. Farm data is an example of such sensitive data flows. Farm data flows go from the farm through many other actors (extensionists/ advisory service providers/ ag tech companies, farmers’ associations, financial service providers, government…), before returning – aggregated and combined and in the form of services – back to the farm. Such flows potentially open up sensitive data that should only be shared with specific actors under specific conditions, or should be anonymised in order to avoid harming the farmer’s interests and privacy. This is especially true in the case of smallholder farmers, whose farm data often coincides with household data and personal data, and who are in the weakest position to negotiate their data rights.