08 January 2012

23andMe Policy Updates and DNA Testing Company Recommendations

A few weeks ago I wrote on 23andMe's service changes — DNA Access Policy Changes Bad for Genealogists. There has been a discussion in the 23andMe forums, on most of the DNA mail lists, and a petition was created by well-known genetic genealogist Larry Vick to allow consumers of 23andMe's product to voice opinions and needs.

Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, responded today. Each customer will need to determine if the current policy will meet your needs or not. 23andMe tried to make significant changes with no discernible consideration of customer needs. Because of this I am not yet ready to give whole-hearted recommendations to genetic genealogists to test there unless you really want the medical and health data provided by 23andMe.

Until this controversy I was a happy customer of both 23andMe and Family Tree DNA. For the time being, I will continue to recommend Family Tree DNA for those interested in DNA testing for genealogical purposes. The founders of Family Tree DNA are genealogists and have the same passion we do. I trust them more to do what will work for genealogists. Not to say I agree with every decision made by Family Tree DNA either, but their business decisions have been more along the lines of prioritizing where to put resources (Ysearch updates or X chromosome browser) as opposed to eliminating access to customers.

© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

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