From the first day we began planning our services at Phylos, we’ve carefully considered the ownership, use, and protection of the data that our customers would entrust to us. In keeping with our core culture and beliefs, we’ve made decisions based on the following guiding principles:
• Act with integrity.
• Respect the trust.
• Support the community.
• Be transparent.
Our lab equipment “reads” cannabis DNA to identify the male gene (Plant Sex Test), or identify the DNA present at certain points on the genome (Genotype Test). We refer to this data set as the underlying identifying DNA data. Comparing points on the genome allows us to distinguish each individual variety, provide customers with relational information, and assign a location in the Phylos Galaxy.
For purposes of this policy, we categorize data as follows:
• Genetic Data
For the Plant Sex Test, this means the presence or absence of the male gene.
For the Genotype Test, this means a record of points of DNA at specific locations on the genome or the identifying DNA data.
• Personal Data means the name, contact, and credit card information you provide during the business transaction (usually as part of the sales or ordering process).
• Public Customer Data is information that you make public through the Phylos Galaxy such as declared variety name, location grown, oral history, and images.
• Derivative Data means information that is produced from analyzing other data. For example, this might be a genotype report, the Phylos Galaxy itself, or a report we run internally to assess the countries or states from which test orders originate.
Every customer retains FULL OWNERSHIP AND OWNERSHIP RIGHTS in the samples they submit, including:
• The genetic data generated from the tests;
• The plants and any plant matter submitted; and
• Any current or future rights in plant protection of the varieties.
In determining how we use genetic data, we continually maintain the triple aims of:
• Protecting your privacy;
• Protecting your ownership rights in your plant (and its data); and
• Providing you with actionable, meaningful information based on your data.
The data points we capture from your sample’s strands of DNA (in the Genotype Test) provide little information when evaluated by themselves. However, in the context of an entire database of other sequencing data points, we can provide you with highly useful relational information, such as how rare the variety is, heterozygosity, and what other varieties it is related to. In order to provide you with this context, we need your permission to use and work with the data.
Therefore, by using Phylos’s products and services, each customer grants Phylos the right to use, improve, copy, distribute, analyze, and transform the Genetic Data generated from each test.
This grant is a nonexclusive, transferable, royalty-free, fully-paid, and perpetual license, and allows us to grant sublicenses. This means, in part, that we can engage and allow third-party strategic partners or service providers to access and similarly use the data (under Non-Disclosure Agreements) to assist us in our work.
In addition to creating analysis reports, we also may use Genetic Data for activities such as creating the Phylos Galaxy, conducting product development, and other business activities, and improving our tests, results, and services.
Frequently Asked Questions: Data Use
Does this mean Phylos can publicly expose which varieties I own?
No. Ownership of varieties is highly confidential and protected information. However, you may elect to voluntarily share your ownership in the Phylos Galaxy (through the variety or company profile), which would release Phylos from any further requirement of confidentiality on any information you voluntarily publish.
Does this agreement give Phylos or anyone else ownership in my data or plants?
Does this agreement mean Phylos or anyone else can use my Genetic Data to patent my varieties or block my patent application on my varieties?
Can Phylos breed new plants using the sample that I submitted for testing?
No. It is not scientifically possible to recreate viable germplasm (live plants) from the samples submitted for testing.
Could someone else get my sample and recreate a plant?
No. We destroy all samples after we complete the testing. Additionally, it is not scientifically possible to recreate viable germplasm (live plants) from the samples submitted for testing.
Then how are you getting germplasm for your breeding program?
We secure germplasm like any other breeder: through contacts with other growers.
How do you use my personal data?
Phylos may share anonymized, aggregate data or Derivative Data with specific strategic partners or third parties for various reasons, such as to advance scientific research, support the documentation of existing cannabis varieties (an important check against illegitimate patenting attempts) and enable cross promotion.
• Anonymized in this context means the data is stripped of all Personal Data that could link Genetic Data to a specific customer, except for information that customers elect to make public through the Phylos Galaxy.
• Aggregated means the data is pooled together with other genetic data points, often thousands or even millions of points.
Opt-In Third Party Sharing
With your written permission or specific opt-in, we may offer opportunities for you to share your data with third parties. For example, we may develop optional links for you to direct someone that’s viewing your variety on the Galaxy to a site that promotes your brand or shows retail locations, or other interfaces that we believe would bring you value.
As another example, we share a select set of data with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), one of the world’s largest repositories of open access genetic data in the world.
As noted above, only data from customers who opt-in to data sharing with NCBI is shared. You can choose which samples you want to share to the NCBI by navigating to your Galaxy Profile and opting samples into the data sharing program.
• To view or update your current data sharing preferences, please view the data sharing section on your variety profile editor.
• For more information on data sharing or to update your data preferences, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once data is published to the NCBI, anyone can access, view, and download the data. For example, data is used by scientists for research purposes, such as performing population genetics studies and improving understanding of the cannabis genome. Note that once uploaded, data cannot be removed from the public domain.
Learn more and view Phylos’ open access data here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions: Data Sharing
No. We do not share, sell, lease, or rent your Personal Data to any third-party without your explicit consent. Note that this doesn’t apply to information you elect to make public on the Phylos Galaxy.
We do not share individual-level genetic data with third parties without asking for and receiving your explicit permission to do so.
If you have any questions about this policy or any other aspect of our services, we would be happy to answer them. Please contact us at email@example.com.