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23andMe Makes Changes to API Policy for Third-Party App Developers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb)  Consumer genomics company 23andMe let customers know this week that it will restrict its application programming interface (API) to select third-party apps.

The firm said that in two weeks it would disable other apps' ability to access customers' 23andMe results through its API. In effect, customers that have shared their 23andMe reports with other apps through its API may no longer work.

"If you would like any app to continue to have access to your 23andMe results during this transition period, you'll need to re-authorize the app to access your data," the company told customers. The company has also informed existing developers of the changes.

23andMe is evaluating how third-party services are impacting customers' experiences and would like to see those services be more impactful and complementary to its own efforts. This policy change doesn't hinder customers from downloading their own data and using it however they see fit, or impact research partners' ability to use 23andMe's API when customers consent to have their data used for research.

"Moving forward, we will only partner with developers building applications that leverage the data based on 23andMe reports," a company spokesperson told GenomeWeb. "Our hope is to bring added value to customers' overall experience."

23andMe, in collaboration with the Future of Privacy Forum, and leading consumer genetic testing companies Ancestry, Helix, MyHeritage, and Habit, recently released a set of best practices that they agreed to for collecting, sharing, protecting, and using genetic data generated by consumer genetic testing services. Among the best practices, the companies agreed that they are responsible for ensuring that any vendors or service providers have the same level of privacy commitments.