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

2018/8/30 7:32:03 Views:278
In 2012, genetic testing company 23andMe announced the opening of its Application Programming Interface (API), which was intended to empower developers to build a wide range of new applications and tools for the 23andMe community. Six years later, 23andMe announced the closure of the API, and developers will not be able to continue accessing the company's raw genomic data. We don’t know whether it is to keep control of its data or to worry about user privacy.

23andMe is a company that provides personal genetic testing services, including co-founder Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.More than 5 million people sent saliva samples to 23andMe to exchange their ancestors' information and some personalized health reports, such as whether they are more likely to develop breast cancer.In 2012, 23andMe decided to open the API so that developers can do more based on the user's genetic information.
On August 24, 2018, at local time, 23andMe sent an email to developers: The API will be closed within two weeks, and the application can only use the company-generated reports, not the original genetic data.
23andMe said in an email: "We are updating our API program to focus on applications based on the explanations and results we provide to our customers."The company works with pharmaceutical researchers who use genetic information to identify new drugs and academic researchers in genetics research.

A person familiar with the matter said that 23andMe's API is currently being used by more andmore developers. Gene privacy issues also make 23andMe highly controversial。In 2015, Wired once reported on an application that uses 23andMe's API interface to block websites and applications based on their personal characteristics, such as gender and ancestry.

After the API is disabled, developers will be more limited in accessing 23andMe's data and the services it provides to consumers.

23andMe said: "In future, we will only work with developers to develop and leverage applications based on 23andMe reporting data. We want to increase the overall experience of our customers. We are informing existing developers and any influential customers so that they can be prepared. Research partners can still get raw data."