DuPont Pioneer's $300 million acquisition of Silicon Valley based Granular might have you wondering what happens to all that data a provider collects after it is sold? This post answers that question.
For some companies, the answer is simple. Companies that are "Ag Data Transparent" are required to explain in their contracts their position on what happens to farmer data if the company is sold. Question 10 of the certification process asks:
10. Do the ag tech provider's agreements address what happens to my data if the provider is sold to another company?
As part of the certification process, Ag Data Transparent companies must first answer this question with a "yes" or "no" and follow that answer with an explanation.
Fortunately, Granular is an Ag Data Transparent company. (DuPont's Encirca is not yet on the list). When asked this question, Granular answered:
Yes. According to Section 10.8 [of the Granular Software Services Agreement], any successor of Granular would have the same rights and obligations with regard to customers’ data as Granular does today.
This means that Granular's customer agreement carries forward after the sale to DuPont. Granular's commitments towards farmers' ag data carry forward too. (Unless they are amended or changed in the future). Granular even reiterated this commitment in a recent blog: Our Continued Commitment to Independence and Data Privacy.
It is really interesting to see how other ag data companies answered this question. Some have answered "No," their contracts do not address this point. That is probably not the answer you were looking for, but it is transparent. Others have answered "Yes" and explained that farmers will have the right to delete their data prior to any sale or merger. One of the best results of achieving Ag Data Transparent certification is that the process makes companies answer this question.
Check out all the certified companies' answers here: Ag Data Transparent Companies.
Now back to the question: What happens to my ag data when my provider is sold?
My answer: It depends what your contract with your provider says.
Mergers in ag tech are becoming more common. Still, some notable tech providers are not on the Ag Data Transparent list. If your provider is not certifiedt, I'm going to guess they have not answered this question.
Ask your ag tech provider what happens to your ag data if they are sold. Their answer might surprise you.