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Agritech Startups & Data Privacy


Australia’s agricultural sector is rapidly evolving due to a boom in agritech startups. From the early days of manual operations to now, the industry has been completely transformed by new innovations in technology, simplifying the process from farm to fork. These new innovations are making it easier to gain insights into how farmers can improve their methods. Despite the benefits of these advancements there are still some major kinks to work out, data privacy being one of them.

Currently, data is harvested from technologies such as drones, harvesters, sensors, and other technologies along most aspects of the supply chain. The insights gained from these digital advancements have improved the operations, performance, and productivity of businesses and farms operating in the agriculture sector. The insights afforded by this data, which may include commercial finances, soil quality to fertiliser, is also used to increase the visibility of the supply chain which allows stakeholders and investors to make informed decisions.

The Current Landscape

Amidst the launch of the data highway and the rapid growth of new technologies, some farmers and businesses operating in the agricultural sector are concerned about how their data is collected and distributed. Because of the infancy of these technologies, there is some debate around whether the capturing of data should be regulated and whether there is a need for agricultural data governance to be developed. So far, the selling of commercial data has not been confirmed though it is likely that it is being provided to investors, advertisers, and other stakeholders. The federal government has not specified whether they will expand consumer data laws to agriculture.

What Are the Current Laws?

Agritech startups and agricultural businesses alike need to be aware of the current laws that protect how data is captured and stored. Current privacy laws protect farmers’ personal data but not their commercial or agronomic data which leaves a gap in current regulations which can be difficult to navigate. We recommend consulting a commercial lawyer to help you to navigate this terrain as privacy laws in Australia are stringent. You should also have clear legal structures and contracts – like a set of terms and conditions – in place to protect your startup or business, particularly when it comes to how data is being used.

Need Help? Contact Us 

At Allied Legal, our team of expert commercial lawyers can assist you in deciphering data and privacy laws. If you would like assistance with your legal documents like your startup’s terms and conditions, or if you would like to book in for a free consultation, you can connect with us on 03 8691 3111 or send us an email at hello@alliedlegal.com.au.

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