23andMe Turns Off Consumer Access to Porting Their Genetic Data to TimiDNA, Disappointing Many Consumers
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Timicoin/TimiHealth (www.timicoin.io) said it has received overwhelming interest from consumers who want to move their genetic data from 23andMe into a more secure blockchain technology offered by TimiDNA, but are encountering stiff resistance from 23andMe causing them "deep disappointment."
TimiHealth launched the TimiDNA platform as a direct response to 23andMe and other genetic testing companies who are allegedly "monetizing consumer data under false marketing without any consumer profit sharing," said Will Lowe, Co-founder and Managing Director of Timicoin/TimiHealth.
This was highlighted by the announced $300 million dollar 50/50 partnership deal between 23andMe and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), he added. (https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/gsk-and-23andme-sign-agreement-to-leverage-genetic-insights-for-the-development-of-novel-medicines)
Since the launch of TimiDNA, thousands of requests have been received to move data from 23andMe to TimiDNA. Hundreds of daily uploads reflected strong consumer demand upon launch."The voice of the consumer regarding the issue of healthcare data ownership has spoken, and we continue to get numerous requests for porting data to TimiDNA," said Joyce Lignell, Chairwoman of the TimiHealth Advisory Board.
"Today the actions of consumers tells us that they are tired of being misled by false marketing campaigns by the likes of 23andMe that represent analytic services, but whom really are just intent on making money off the backs of consumers' genetic data," she asserted.
"The tremendous uptake by consumers wanting to secure and control their data has been met with fierce resistance by 23andMe, which apparently has decided to do whatever it can to prevent consumers from sharing their own data with whomever they choose, specifically TimiDNA powered by TimHealth," said Lowe.
He cited an August 23, 2018, statement issued by 23andMe announcing a change to the 23andMe API program.
"By this change they have taken away the consumer's ability to control and share the very data they contributed to 23andMe," said Lignell.
She cited the following statement issued by 23andMe as evidence of their restricting consumers control of their own data:
"Moving forward, we've decided to restrict our API to only work with select applications that will use the data based on 23andMe reports to bring added value to your overall experience. Based on these changes, in two weeks, we will be disabling other apps' ability to access your data using the 23andMe API, and any features in those third-party apps that rely on your 23andMe data may no longer work."
According to Lowe, "Timicoin/TimiHealth has since heard from hundreds of our consumers, deeply disappointed by the news that 23andMe has taken such irrational actions to prevent them from controlling the very data that defines them. It is unethical for big corporations to monetize individuals' data without sharing the rewards with consumers," said Lowe.
The level of anger by consumers is boiling over by these actions. "I feel like the reality of 23andMe's true intent is now out in the open; they never wanted to just interpret my DNA, they always knew they would sell my data to big pharma. After the GSK deal and learning about TimiDNA, I knew exactly what I needed to do, and now 23andMe is doing everything in their power to prevent me from securing and controlling my data. They say the policy change is for security reasons, but the API data access sure was secure before the GSK deal," said Steven Wang, a 23andMe member and TimiHealth consumer.
This restriction and change in policy on API access comes on the heels of the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Blue Button 2.0 Conference on August 14, 2018, at which 23andMe attended as a developer participant. Blue Button 2.0 is a critical part of the CMS MyHealthEData initiative, whose primary objective is to empower patients by giving them control of their own health care data. 23andMe's actions speak loudly about their true position on personal health data ownership by not allowing individuals to control their own data and blocking each person's ability to freely share that data with any organization they choose, using the same API technology. It flies in the face of the mission of CMS, and the MyHealthEData initiative and the goal of putting patients first.
TimiHealth is continuing to fight for consumer rights and individual data ownership. We will continue to offer avenues for consumers to secure the most sensitive data one can possess in our blockchain solution.
The Blockchain-as-a-Service Platform provides decentralized healthcare data which can be accessed instantly from anywhere in the world. Timicoin/TimiHealth (Timicoin.io) is a patent-pending solution to securing patient data, while providing unprecedented portability. The company is actively deploying pilot programs in the US, Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico.
Media Contact: Adrienne Mazzone 561-750-9800 x2270; firstname.lastname@example.org