Genetic testing company 23andMe recently made updates to its terms of service, sparking concerns among customers. These changes come in the wake of a major security breach in October, where personal information of nearly 7 million people was accessed by attackers. In this blog post, we will explore the details of these changes and the implications for customers.

Updates to the Dispute Resolution and Arbitration Section

In an email sent to customers, 23andMe announced updates to its “Dispute Resolution and Arbitration” section. The company claims that these updates aim to encourage prompt dispute resolution and streamline arbitration proceedings for multiple similar claims.

One significant change in the updated terms is the prevention of customers from filing class action lawsuits or participating in a jury trial. By disallowing these actions, 23andMe hopes to resolve disputes on an individual basis rather than through collective action.

The updated terms state, “To the fullest extent allowed by applicable law, you and we agree that each party may bring disputes against the other party only in an individual capacity and not as a class action or collective action or class arbitration.”

Automatic Opt-In and Customer Rights

Notably, 23andMe will automatically opt customers into the new terms unless they explicitly inform the company of their disagreement within 30 days of receiving the notice. Failure to do so will be considered as agreement to the updated terms.

This automatic opt-in approach has raised concerns among customers who feel that they should have the right to choose whether or not to accept these changes. It is essential for customers to carefully read through the terms and conditions before signing up for any service and to voice their disagreement if they wish to opt-out.

The Importance of Reading Terms and Conditions

The recent changes in 23andMe’s terms of service serve as a reminder of the importance of reading and understanding the terms and conditions of any service before signing up. While it may be tempting to skip over the lengthy legal jargon, doing so can result in unknowingly agreeing to terms that may not align with your expectations or values.

Furthermore, it is crucial to consider a company’s track record and history when deciding whether or not to trust them with your personal information. In the case of 23andMe, the recent security breach and subsequent changes to their terms of service may cause some customers to question their commitment to protecting user data.


The updates to 23andMe’s terms of service, particularly the prevention of class action lawsuits and jury trials, have raised concerns among customers. It is important for customers to be aware of these changes and exercise their rights by actively opting out if they disagree with the updated terms. Additionally, reading and understanding the terms and conditions of any service before signing up is crucial to ensure that your expectations align with the company’s policies.

Ultimately, the recent events surrounding 23andMe highlight the need for transparency, accountability, and informed decision-making when it comes to sharing personal information with any company.

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