23andMe aims to make and support scientific discoveries and publish those
discoveries in scientific journals. We invite you to take part in this project,
which we call 23andMe Research. To get started you must agree
to the terms in our full consent document (below). Here are key points of that
How do I take part in 23andMe Research?
Take surveys or otherwise enter information about yourself into the 23andMe
website. You choose which surveys to take and which questions to answer.
Can my child take part in 23andMe Research?
Your child may take part in 23andMe Research if he or she gives assent to
participate and a parent or legal guardian authorizes 23andMe to use his or her Genetic
& Self-Reported Information for research.
Which of my personal information is used for research?
Your genetic data and any other personal information you enter into the
website, except for your Registration Information (name, contact
information, and credit card information), may be analyzed in the research.
Your name and contact information may be used to communicate with you but
are not analyzed in combination with your genetic and other personal
Who gets to see my personal information?
23andMe's privacy statement outlines who does and does not get access to the
personal information of 23andMe customers; here we list the additional
individuals who will get access if you consent to take part in research.
Within 23andMe: 23andMe researchers who conduct analyses will have
access to your genetic and other personal information, but not to your name,
contact, or credit card information. 23andMe researchers who contact you
will have access to names and contact information, but only to very limited
genetic or other personal information.
Outside of 23andMe: 23andMe may share some data with external
research partners and in scientific publications. These data will be
summarized across enough customers to minimize the chance that your personal
information will be exposed. 23andMe may need to share the information with
other agencies as required by law.
How will I benefit from this research?
By taking surveys you may learn about 23andMe's research findings, including
how your answers compare with those of others and new discoveries made by
23andMe's research program.
Sometime in the future you or your family may benefit indirectly from
research discoveries made by 23andMe or its research partners.
What are the risks of taking part in this research?
There is a very small chance that someone with access to the research data
or results could expose personal information about you. 23andMe has policies
and practices in place to minimize the chance of such an event.
Can I stop taking part in 23andMe Research?
Yes, you can withdraw from 23andMe Research at any time. Any of your data
that have already been entered into a study cannot be withdrawn, but your
data will not be included in studies that start more than 30 days after you
withdraw (it may take up to 30 days to withdraw your information after you
withdraw your consent).
Full Consent Document
One of 23andMe's missions is to make and support meaningful scientific
discoveries by enabling its customers to participate directly in research.
23andMe has enrolled hundreds of thousands of participants from among its
customers in this project, which we call 23andMe Research.
Specifically, 23andMe Research refers to research aimed at publication in
peer-reviewed journals and research funded by the federal government (such as
the National Institutes of Health - NIH). The 23andMe Research study, which has
yielded over a dozen scientific articles, aims to:
Discover genetic factors behind diseases and traits
Uncover connections among diseases and traits
Learn about human migration and population history through genetics
Understand how people react to their personal genetic information
For further details on 23andMe's other uses of personal information, see our
23andMe seeks your voluntary participation in 23andMe Research.
This document explains:
What you are agreeing to if you consent
How you can participate
How your data will be used
How we protect your data and keep it private
The benefits and risks of participation
Your options and how to withdraw
Who to contact if you have questions
1. What am I agreeing to if I consent?
Giving consent by checking the appropriate box below means that you agree to let
23andMe researchers use your Genetic & Self-Reported Information for 23andMe
Research, as described above. "Genetic & Self-Reported Information" refers
Your genetic data
Information you enter into surveys, forms and other features labeled with
the 23andMe Research logo
Data you authorize us to import for research
Your age and ethnicity
Self-Reported Information includes any information you submitted prior to giving
consent. If you have elected to have your saliva sample stored, we may also use
the results of further analysis of your sample in 23andMe Research. Your Genetic
& Self-Reported Information does not include identifying Registration
Information you provided when you purchased the Personal Genome Service or
created an account (such as name, address, email address, user ID, password, or
credit card information).
2. How do I participate?
Participation consists of (1) allowing 23andMe researchers to use your Genetic
& Self-Reported Information for 23andMe Research, and (2) entering data
about yourself into 23andMe Research features on the 23andMe website. These
features include surveys, individual questions, and other features where you
enter information. If you do not feel comfortable providing a piece of
information, you may choose not to answer that question. You may choose to take
all, some, or none of the surveys.
The 23andMe Research study is open-ended: new surveys and features may be added
on a continuing basis. If new surveys or features are added, you may receive an
email update or see an announcement when you sign in to your account. We might
invite you to participate in a specific study if your Genetic &
Self-Reported Information matches the area of interest.
For your participation, monetary, cash equivalents such as gift certificates or
discounts on future 23andMe service purchases, or charitable donations (up to a
value of $30 per half hour of expected time) may be provided as compensation for
Your participation in the 23andMe Research study is completely voluntary.
3. How will my data be used in 23andMe Research?
Your Genetic & Self-Reported Information may be used to discover links
between genetic markers, non-genetic markers, traits, diseases, behaviors and
other characteristics; to study human migrations and population history; or to
assess how people respond to personal genetic information. Discoveries made as a
result of this research could be used to understand the basic causes of disease,
develop drugs or other treatments and/or preventive measures, or predict a
person's risk of disease. The topics to be studied span a wide range of traits
and conditions, from common to rare. The topics include simple traits such as
hair color or freckles, serious diseases such as Parkinson's disease or
diabetes, and less serious conditions such as migraine headaches or response to
over-the-counter drugs. Some of these studies may be sponsored by or conducted
on behalf of third parties, such as non-profit foundations, academic
institutions or pharmaceutical companies.
This study may cover potentially sensitive topics such as sexual orientation,
illicit drug use or other illegal behavior, or HIV/AIDS status. When 23andMe
conducts studies on such sensitive topics, you will be provided additional
information to help you decide whether you want to participate in research on
4. How do you keep my data protected and private (whether or not I consent)?
23andMe's Privacy Statement
outlines how the company protects your privacy while conducting business, such
as providing our services to you. 23andMe uses a range of physical, technical,
and administrative procedures to protect the privacy of your personal
information, including your genetic data and your survey responses.
If you agree to this Consent Document, 23andMe can use your information in
additional ways. Specifically, 23andMe researchers can use your data for
research that will be published in scientific journals, or that is sponsored by
the National Institutes of Health and certain other organizations.
Just as 23andMe aims to minimize the chances of a privacy breach while
conducting its business, 23andMe researchers aim to minimize the chances of a
privacy breach while conducting research. Here are the main ways we do that:
The 23andMe researchers who conduct the statistical analyses do not have
access to Registration Information (name, address, email address, user ID,
password, or credit card) of customers
23andMe researchers who interact with research participants and conduct
interviews have access to names and contact information of participants, but
only to very limited genetic and other personal information
To minimize the chance that an external person can determine that any
particular customer is part of a study, 23andMe researchers either
publish only data pooled across multiple customers or
publish only very limited, non-identifying information of a single
All 23andMe employees are trained on how to work with human research
participants. In addition, all 23andMe researchers are trained on how to
conduct research responsibly.
In addition, 23andMe has obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the
National Institutes of Health (NIH). In some cases, if an external party demands
access to customer data, 23andMe can exclude from release the data of customers
who have consented to research.
The Certificate of Confidentiality cannot be used to resist a demand for
information from personnel of the United States Government that is to be used
for auditing or evaluation of federally funded projects or for information that
must be disclosed in order to meet the requirements of NIH or the Institutional
Review Board (IRB). The NIH and IRB have the right to audit this study's data,
including information that identifies you.
5. What are the benefits and risks of participation?
One of 23andMe's missions is to make meaningful scientific contributions by
enabling its customers to participate directly in genetic research. If 23andMe
publishes study results in peer-reviewed journals, there may be an indirect
benefit to you as scientific knowledge increases and/or new drugs or tests are
You may also have the opportunity to acquire one or more of the following, in
return for some level of participation in the research:
Comparison of your personal survey responses to those of all responders,
additional information about genetics, genetic research or the 23andMe
study, and/or preliminary research findings
There may be additional benefits to participation that are currently
Based on the results of this study, 23andMe may develop intellectual property,
including but not limited to patents, copyrights and trademarks, and/or 23andMe
may commercialize products or services, directly or indirectly. In such cases
you will not receive any compensation.
There are some potential risks to participating in the 23andMe Research study,
as described below.
Some survey questions or data comparisons may make you or your family
Your genetic data, survey responses, and/or personally identifying
information may be stolen in the event of a security breach. In the event of
such a breach, if your data are associated with your identity, they may be
made public or released to insurance companies, which could have a negative
effect on your ability to obtain insurance coverage. In addition, if you or
a family member has genetic data linked to your name or your family member's
name in a public database, someone who has access to your 23andMe genetic
data might be able to link that data to your name or your family member's
name through the publicly available genetic data. Although 23andMe cannot
provide a 100% guarantee that your data will be safe, 23andMe has strong
policies and procedures in place to minimize the possibility of a breach.
When 23andMe researchers publish results from this ongoing study, they may
include your Genetic & Self-Reported Information but only as part of a
summary across enough people to minimize the chance that your personal
information will be exposed. Identification of your individual-level data
from those summaries would be extremely difficult, but it is possible that a
third party that has obtained some of your genetic data could compare that
partial data to the published results and infer some of your other personal
As with any online service, if you disclose your account password to others,
they may be able to access your account and your Genetic & Self-Reported
There may be additional risks to participation that are currently
None of the surveys or other procedures used by the researchers in the 23andMe
Research study is invasive or experimental. The procedures involved do not
involve more than the minimal risks described above.
6. Do I have any alternatives? Can I withdraw from this study?
Your alternative is not to participate in the 23andMe Research study. If you
choose not to give consent for 23andMe Research, your Genetic &
Self-Reported Information may still be used for other purposes, as described in
our Privacy Statement. If you do
give consent to participate in this study, you may choose not to take 23andMe
Research surveys or use other 23andMe Research features.
At any time, you may choose to change your consent status to either take part in
23andMe Research or to withdraw all or some of your Genetic & Self-Reported
Information from 23andMe Research. Your consent status is located in the 23andMe
"Settings" page (if you experience problems changing your consent status, write
to the Human Protections Administrator at
If you withdraw all or some of your Genetic & Self-Reported Information,
23andMe will prevent that information from being used in new 23andMe Research
initiated after 30 days from receipt of your request (it may take up to 30 days
to withdraw your information after you withdraw your consent). Any research on
your data that has been performed or published prior to this date will not be reversed,
undone, or withdrawn.
Choosing not to give consent or withdrawing from 23andMe Research will not
affect your access to your Genetic Information or to the Personal Genome
You may also discontinue participation by closing your Personal Genome Service
account, as described in the Terms of Service. Requests for account closure must
be made in writing to 23andMe's business address or via
In addition, the 23andMe Research study may be terminated without your consent.
In the following cases, 23andMe will maintain your Genetic & Self-Reported
Information according to the terms of our Privacy Statement.
Transfer of ownership. If 23andMe undergoes a business transition such as an
acquisition or merger, the 23andMe Research study may be terminated. In such
case, your information would remain subject to the promises made in any
Termination of service. 23andMe may terminate your access to the Personal
Genome Service for any of the five reasons described in the
Terms of Service. If your access
to the Personal Genome Service is terminated for any of these reasons, your
participation in the 23andMe Research study may also be terminated.
7. Who do I contact if I have questions?
If you have general questions and need help with
23andMe's service, please contact: