There\u2019s a surprising battle being fought on America\u2019s farms, between farmers and the companies that sell them tractors, combines, and other farm equipment. Surprisingly, the outcome of that war could have far-reaching implications for the internet of things (IoT) \u2014 and now Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has weighed in with a proposal that could shift the balance of power in this largely under-the-radar struggle.\nRight to repair farm equipment\nHere\u2019s the story: As part of a new plan to support family farms, Warren came out in support of a national right-to-repair law for farm equipment. That might not sound like a big deal, but it raises the stakes in a long-simmering fight between farmers and equipment makers over who really controls access to the equipment \u2014 and to the increasingly critical data gathered by the IoT capabilities built into it.\n\nWarren\u2019s proposal reportedly calls for making all diagnostics tools and manuals freely available to the equipment owners, as well as independent repair shops \u2014 not just vendors and their authorized agents \u2014 and focuses solely on farm equipment.\nThat\u2019s a great start, and kudos to Warren for being by far the most prominent politician to weigh in on the issue.\nPart of a much bigger IoT data issue\nBut Warren's proposal merely scratches the surface of the much larger issue of who actually controls the equipment and devices that consumers and businesses buy. Even more important, it doesn\u2019t address the critical data gathered by IoT sensors in everything ranging from smartphones, wearables, and smart-home devices to private and commercial vehicles and aircraft to industrial equipment.\nAnd as many farmers can tell you, this isn\u2019t some academic argument. That data has real value \u2014 not to mention privacy implications. For farmers, it\u2019s GPS-equipped smart sensors tracking everything \u2014 from temperature to moisture to soil acidity \u2014 that can determine the most efficient times to plant and harvest crops. For consumers, it might be data that affects their home or auto insurance rates, or even divorce cases. For manufacturers, it might cover everything from which equipment needs maintenance to potential issues with raw materials or finished products.\nThe solution is simple: IoT users need consistent regulations that ensure free access to what is really their own data, and give them the option to share that data with the equipment vendors \u2014\u00a0if they so choose and on their own terms.\nAt the very least, users need clear statements of the rules, so they know exactly what they\u2019re getting \u2014 and not getting \u2014 when they buy IoT-enhanced devices and equipment. And if they\u2019re being honest, most equipment vendors would likely admit that clear rules would benefit them as well by creating a level playing field, reducing potential liabilities and helping to avoid making customers unhappy.\nSen. Warren made headlines earlier this month by proposing to "break up" tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook. If she really wants to help technology buyers, prioritizing the right-to-repair and the associated right to own your own data seems like a more effective approach.