This multi-facetted research project builds on previous works by Dr. Chapdelaine on the rights of consumers of copyright works, and more particularly on the effects of the standardization of contracts and business practices, the new norms that they create and the extent to which such practices shape consumer expectations. What are acceptable levels of consumer data collection and how are powerful algorithms re-shaping consumer transactions online? What constitutes consumer deception? How to mediate fairness and consumers’ reasonable expectations with (secret) trade practices? How to better regulate e-commerce in the age of algorithms and big data? Are disclosure requirements efficient and sufficient or are outright bans mandated for certain business practices?
Discriminatory Pricing in the Age of Algorithms and Big Data.
One of Professor Chapdelaine current research projects looks at the practice of price discrimination as a case study to explore the required levels of regulation and state intervention to protect the consumer netizen. It explores how increasingly sophisticated data collection and processing may enable new forms of price discrimination amongst consumers in contrast with the analogue world. It looks at normative considerations and at the current legal landscape surrounding such discriminatory pricing.
Other research projects include consumer law and policy in the age of algorithms and big data at a broader level, beyond discriminatory pricing, the concept of collective harm in privacy and consumer protection laws, and the merits and pitfalls of defining and asserting digital rights for the benefit of consumers. Last but not least, the extent to which we need to rethink consumer law and policy in the context of environmental protection and sustainability.