23and…everybody

I saw a tweet which included the unstoppable Aral about 23andMe

You may remember I wrote about my thoughts about joining up and then a follow up.

Well…. as per the tweet

Today, 23andMe announced what Forbes reports is only the first of ten deals with big biotech companies: Genentech will pay up to $60 million for access to 23andMe’s data to study Parkinson’s. You think 23andMe was about selling fun DNA spit tests for $99 a pop? Nope, it’s been about selling your data all along.

Since 23andMe started in 2006, it’s convinced 800,000 customers to hand over their DNA, one vial of spit at a time. Personal DNA reports are the consumer-facing side of the business, and that’s the one we’re most familiar with. It all seems friendly and fun with a candy-colored logo and quirky reports that include the genetic variant for asparagus pee.

Its not even shocking…

We all (well some of us) knew this was coming. It does make me wonder how far companies such as 23andme will go?

I started listening to Andrew Keen on Triangulation today before leaving for work. I only got 10-15mins through when I found myself agreeing with Andrew on something (and it really hurts me to say so).

He mentioned something about Uber and the value of these services. 23andme I imagine would be added to the example pile too.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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