Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Areheart and Roberts on Genetic Privacy


Friends-of-blog Bradley Areheart (Tennessee) and Jessica Roberts (Houston) have just posted on SSRN their superb piece, The Future of Genetic Privacy, which is forthcoming next year in the Yale Law Journal.  This excellent piece examines the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the importance of privacy during the era of big data.  The abstract is below:

The Future of Genetic Privacy, 128 Yale Law Journal --- (forthcoming 2019)

How should we measure a law’s success? Congress frequently outlines its reasons for enacting legislation. But what if a statute fails to accomplish its articulated purpose but serves another—more important—end? The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) has faced significant criticism since passing in 2008. Commentators have dismissed the law as ill-conceived, unnecessary, and ineffective. However, on GINA’s ten-year anniversary, we argue that while GINA has failed to fulfill its purpose of improving attitudes toward genetic testing, it has achieved unanticipated success as an employee privacy statute. In the era of big data, protections for employee privacy are more pressing than protections against genetic discrimination. Instead of failed legislation, GINA is a blueprint for future employment laws.

Congratulations to Jessica and Bradley on their wonderful work, and I recommend that everyone add this great article to their summer reading list!

- Joe Seiner

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