[ExI] 23andME - Company issues: privacy

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Thu Oct 16 09:07:22 UTC 2014

On Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 2:38 AM, spike wrote:
> You bring up an interesting point however.  23andMe has clients all over the
> world.  So they just need to move their operation offshore or anywhere where
> the government's medical bureacracy is more interested in things like
> stopping ebola rather than interfering with a perfectly legitimate harmless
> crowd-sourced science project.

23andMe has just started selling in Canada this month, including the
health reports, available to Canadians only.

(While it is outside their jurisdiction I suspect this will annoy the FDA). ;)

Canada Health say that only the safety of the testing kit is their
concern. The results of the testing and the use or misuse of that data
is the responsibility of provincial governments. So there may still be
problems ahead in Canada for 23andMe.

The FDA is concerned that the health reports may lead to unnecessary
medical interventions. Things like obesity, smoking, high blood
pressure, etc. are much greater risk factors than having a dodgy gene
that may or may not cause a disease in later life.

>From Google's POV the health reports are almost irrelevant. What they
want is to collect as much DNA analysis as possible and do Big Data
analysis on it. If they can use DNA analysis to pinpoint disease
causes or ageing causes then they could get very valuable patents on
the cures. This is Google remember. Your data is used to make them the
richest company in the world.


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