ACE Seminar: Of Contracts and DNA - Reading the fine print when buying your genetic self online

Speaker: Andelka M. Phillips

Date/Time: 17-May-2018, 16:00 UTC

Venue: Roberts 421




Contracts are ubiquitous online and they serve important functions. These often take the form of wrap contracts (clickwrap or browsewrap contracts). These contractual forms have have evolved from shrinkwrap licences. They are often used to govern relationships between businesses and consumers and where there is a lack of specific regulation of new technologies, they may be used as a form of industry self-regulation. Significantly, these contracts are rarely read and may include terms that are problematic from a consumer protection perspective. My on-going work explores the regulation of the direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTC) industry and the use of contracts by DTC companies. In this seminar I will provide an overview of the direct-to-consumer genetic testing industry and its use of wrap contracts and make some suggestions for reform.



Dr. Andelka M. Phillips is the Ussher Assistant Professor in Information Technology Law at Trinity College Dublin and the convenor of the Trinity College Law School’s Technology, Law and Society Research Group. She is also a Research Associate at the University of Oxford's Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) Centre.

Her recent research has focused on the regulation of direct-to-consumer genetic tests, examining the industry’s use of wrap contracts (browsewrap and clickwrap). She is currently working on a book, entitled Buying Your Self on the Internet: Wrap Contracts and Personal Genomics to be published by Edinburgh University Press. Her research interests lie in the areas of Information Technology Law and Health and Medical Law with a particular interest in the use, storage, and treatment of sequenced genomic data and wearable health monitoring devices. Her work also deals with issues arising in the context of thinking about governance of future spaces, such as developments in Artificial Intelligence.

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