Data privacy one question asked about AgGateway
Rod Conner, president and CEO of AgGateway, the eBusiness organization for agriculture, was asked questions about AgGateway’s function and also the organization’s data privacy and security standards for protecting proprietary information. His answers follow:
Q. What is AgGateway?
We’re a non-profit, broad based industry organization dedicated to the mission of promoting, enabling and expanding eBusiness in agriculture. We’re focused on helping farmers, retailers and their supply chain partners reduce the cost and frustration of exchanging data between systems, by developing the means and tools to support them.
The organization itself is governed and run by member volunteers with the help of a very small support staff. Members work through a system of councils that are specific to industry segments – so, for example, the Crop Nutrition, Crop Protection, Precision Ag, and Grain councils, and the like. Currently we have eight councils working on eConnectivity plans and projects for the ag industry. Each council operates fairly autonomously under the leadership of its industry volunteer chair, vice-chair and members.
Q. Data privacy and security are a big concern to everyone in agriculture, and your reference to exchanging data between systems might concern some people. Is AgGateway doing anything on the data security topic?
Yes, this is an important focus area for us. We have a data privacy and security working group that in the next few weeks will publish a white paper that examines the historical, legal and regulatory perspectives on the issue, provides key terminology and principles, and in general gives a roadmap of how to proceed in establishing security, protection and privacy standards and procedures.
Q. A new standards organization called Open Ag Data Alliance or OADA was announced recently. How do their plans compare with what AgGateway is doing?
Looking just at their mission statement, there are areas of overlap with AgGateway. We’ve had some preliminary discussion with them, and we’ve encouraged any participants of theirs who are not already members to join AgGateway, so they can add their contributions to the industry through a broad-based industry group.
Standards are not developed to give any one group a competitive advantage. Instead, they are designed to free companies from the cost of managing proprietary standards, so companies can use their resources to drive innovation and create new value for agriculture.