The well-known DNA company, 23andMe, is receiving a lot of complaints from genealogists concerning the company's change in policy regarding their customers' access to the genetic-data-based information in their accounts. One well-known and highly respected genetic genealogist, Larry Vick, has even created a petition to make sure this issue continues to get the attention it deserves. As one 23andMe former customer wrote on Facebook, "No one in the genetic genealogy community recommends 23andMe any longer."
In the past, 23andMe customers always would have access to their personal data, even if those customers stopped using the service and stopped paying fees. The company claims that its Terms of Service have not changed. However, the company's FAQs (Frequently-Asked Questions) recently were re-written to clarify issues and now states that customers who allow their original commitment of 12 months to expire will no longer have access to their Relative Finder matches and all other features that “rely on your genetic data”.
You can read more about this controversy on a number of web pages, including:
- Your Genetic Genealogist by CeCe Moore at http://goo.gl/K4zD3
- SpittalStreet.com by Sandy Arnone at http://spittalstreet.com/?p=3737
- DNA Testing Adviser by Richard Hill at http://goo.gl/lRVcL
- Discover Magazine at http://goo.gl/JmhbA
If you have concerns about this change, you might consider adding your name to the online petition.
My thanks to the several newsletter readers who wrote to tell me of this controversy.
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