CAPIGI Webinar | Remote sensing and Privacy
21 January 2021 | 11.00 – 12.30 uur. (CET)
Satellites are orbiting the globe in increasing numbers, with higher resolution, in a variety in sensors and with shorter revisiting time than ever before. The collected data is processed, combined, analysed and distributed to create added value and insights for the agricultural sector and society overall in greater volumes than ever before. Spatial data and derived information have become part of our daily life.
We can imagine endless possibilities to apply the collected data for the greater good for us all. Observations from space can assist to identify, monitor and protect fragile ecosystems, give insights in the effects of climate change or predict natural disasters like landslides or detect local weather anomalies. Monitoring by satellites can help to e.g. assess crop development and predict yields on parcel and regional level and thus play an important role in harnessing food security for us all.
The question arises whether these developments are indeed nothing but blessings, or that there might be a downside to this development as well. Data of high quality, high precision and high frequently is relatively easily available for everybody. What we see, is what everybody gets.
Arable farming is conducted out in the open, for everybody to see. With higher resolution and shorter revisited times, satellites can record more and more details on farmers’ management activities and by linking coordinates of imagery to a farm of famers, data becomes personalised.
Most farmers however consider that data about their land, their crops and their activity their primary sovereignty, and as such are reluctant to lose control on who is seeing, using, manipulating (or deleting) these data. On the other hand, in the EU the same satellite data are used in a public sense to support CAP subsidy controls and are the solid information base for payments to the same farmers.
Our instincts are to classify that which we share willingly as public, and that which we choose not to share as private. What can be shared on the issue of remote sensing information and privacy?