Digging In

Data Privacy is a Core Principle of SHP

Data Privacy is a Core Principle of SHP

By Anne Dietz on Thursday, 03 October, 2019

Did you know that SHP takes data privacy and security very seriously? It has been a core principle of our program from the very beginning, and it is one way we show our farmers how much we respect them and the work they are doing.

The farmers we work with are trusting us with their data to learn more about soil health management practices. In our agreement with them, they retain all rights to their data, and we only share individualized information back to them. However, in some cases, using an individual farmer’s data can help us to tell a story about the impacts of changing management practices. This year will be the first time we will be publishing case studies, and we had great conversations with each of the growers doing a case study. In each case, they give us clear, written permission to use information about their farm, and they will give us the final sign off on the case before it is released publicly. It means the world to us that they want to tell their story, and we take it seriously to do so in a respectful way. 

Outside of the case studies, we do not share individual data to help protect the grower's business information. We take it seriously that the data growers are providing to us for analysis are what they use every day on their farm to develop management systems that work for their business. 

We are constantly reviewing agreements with each group we collaborate with for data analysis to be sure they understand and agree to  our data security agreement with farmers. We have partnered through the National Corn Growers Association with a great legal firm that helps us stay on the front edge of data security and helps us review these agreements. 

As our organization and the data set have grown, we have been excited about the tools and systems becoming available to us to help manage the data set and keep it secure, and we’re excited to continue the discussion about data privacy and security as we continue to improve how we handle data over the next year!