Ten days ago I wrote a post about 23andMe's change in policy regarding their customers' access to the genetic-data-based information in their accounts, such as Relative Finder and health reports, after subscription expirations. As expected, this new policy has proven to be extremely unpopular with the genetic genealogy community. Although I have had some direct communication with senior management at 23andMe, there has, so far, not been any public statement from the company addressing this issue. I am cautiously optimistic that once the holidays are over and things return to normal at 23andMe, there will be a satisfactory outcome to the community's concerns.
In the meantime, the highly respected genetic genealogist and well-known 23andMe customer Larry Vick has created a petition to make sure this issue continues to get the attention it deserves until 23andMe reaches a critical decision about their company's future relationship with the genealogy community. I think we all recognize and appreciate the extremely valuable contributions 23andMe has made to our hobby thus far and very much hope that this issue can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction. It saddens me to read on various forums statements such as "No one in the genetic genealogy community recommends 23andMe any longer." (Dec 22, 2011 - The Norway DNA Project Facebook page). As Dr. Ann Turner recently wrote on 23andMe's forums, echoing many of our thoughts, "I hope 23andMe's revolutionary contribution is not forgotten in the midst of this debacle."
If you are concerned about this issue, please sign the petition here.
Let's hope the New Year brings a positive resolution to this unfortunate turn of events for 23andMe and all of us.