[PhD’s Corner] Laura Tomasso: Legal study of digital platforms in the area of Digital Agriculture

Laura Tomasso is one of the first #DigitAg co-funded PhDs

Legal study of digital platforms in the area of Digital Agriculture

  • Start Date: October 2017
  • University: MUSE Montpellier University of Excellence
  • PhD School:  461 – Law and political Science, Montpellier (France)
  • Field(s): Law / Economics, Management, Agronomy, Communication Sciences
  • Doctoral Thesis Advisor:  Agnès Robin (Université de Montpellier)
  • Co-supervisors :  Agnès Robin (Université de Montpellier, Dynamiques du Droit), François Brun (Acta), Guy Faure (Cirad, Innovation), Pierre Maurel (Irstea, Tetis)
  • Funding: #DigitAg – Montpellier University of Excellence
  • #DigitAg: Co-funded PhD – Axis 2 (Innovation in Digital Agriculture)

Keywords: Collaborative platforms, Intellectual property, digital agriculture, agricultural data


This PhD study is dealing with the legal and ethical analysis of digital platforms in the area of Digital Agriculture. It is proposed to think in a efficient way how french and european law can lead agricultural and farming activities in the specific digital context of the Internet of Things (IoT). Through connected objects (embedded sensors in agricultural equipment), farmers are producing lots of data, e.g. about ground or water state, etc. Data are collected through sensors by companies who offer then to farmers a range of services of data handling. These different services are used by farmers — who are standing in the middle of the information system — through digital platforms. The question that come up is to know how platform activities are regulated, especially when platforms are resulting from a private, private/public initiative. The question has to be answered in accordance with different types of legal rules of several disciplins or legal subjects (private/public Law, and through private Law : IP/IT Law, contract Law, criminal Law). A lot of matters or questions are actually concerned, and specificly : dissemination of data related to agricultural technical and economical activities (open data/privacy/trade secrets) ; terms and conditions (licences) of the use of data by farmers or by others persons (researchers, citizens) ; security of data storage and dissemination. Besides the research will consist to answer theses questions precisely and clearly, through different ways (methods) of regulation (contracts, best practices, legal propositions), which can insure a well balance between opposite interests and make farmers free of their economical and technological choices. This study will be based on a state of art, considering that less scientific litterature (in legal discipline) is concerning the question in its entirety. This fact contributes to indicate its innovative dimension.

Contact: laura.tomasso [AT] etu.umontpellier.fr

Networks: LinkedIn

Communications /Publications

  • Les limites du droit positif en matière de protection des données agricoles, Communication au Colloque  Agrinumérique et Droit – Le numérique au service de l’entreprise agricole, Le Mans Université, Faculté de Droit, Antenne de Laval, mars 2019 – vidéo (ci-dessus) et diaporama
  • Droit applicable au partage des données issues du secteur agricole, Note juridique au groupe AgGate, Laura Tomasso, juillet 2018
  • Présentation des travaux en cours à l’ atelier axes 1 et 2 de #DigitAg “Les SHS et le numérique”, 2 février 2018 – pdf à télécharger
  • Laura Tomasso, 30 novembre 2017 : Sujet de thèse présenté à Stéphane Travert, Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation (pdf)
  • Présentation atelier Axes 1 & 2 “Innovation” de #DigitAgà l’initiative des UMRs Innovation, MOISA, MRM et en partenariat avec le Réseau de Recherche sur l’Innovation – 25 septembre 2019