View Full Version : MyHeritage Makes Acquisitions

09-07-2019, 11:25 AM

09-07-2019, 12:21 PM
Ugh, so hard to tell what this means going forward, though at least on the long term I'm afraid it doesn't bode well for Promethease etc. Confusing contradictory language, "MyHeritage is transforming Promethease into a free service, effective today, and this free promotion will run until the end of 2019" Transform into free, but only until end of 2019? '"We are happy to keep SNPedia as a free resource for the academic community and for consumers,” said Dr. Yaniv Erlich, Chief Science Officer of MyHeritage' But not Promethease.

"As of November 1st, 2019, for existing non-European Promethease users only, the DNA data that is on Promethease will be copied to the MyHeritage website into new user accounts that will be created for them."

This is basically the "impossible-never-gonna-happen" privacy nightmare of DNA data being sold to another company and published. One complete month to act, if you're still alive.

09-09-2019, 07:32 PM
The only good thing I've seen about this might be that the Promethease privacy statement says they deleted uploads prior to 2017 and mine was done in 2015.

"As of August 28 2017, when you purchase a Promethease report you can choose whether to create a password-protected account (default) or continue without creating an account.

If you choose not to create an account, after 24 hours Promethease deletes all information about your raw genome. All raw genomes uploaded before August 28 2017 were deleted."

Also I didn't pay for mine as there was an option then to have it done slowly for free so its not linked to a cc or paypal account.


09-11-2019, 03:29 AM
Before August 2017 they didn't save raw DNA data (And I think reports) at all. After 2017 they've encouraged that, as you've been able to get free analysis with latest SNPedia data every 3 months whether you uploaded your raw DNA data for free or for charge as long as you kept the data there.

I think it's in MyHeritage's best interest to keep Promethease available, because on social media people have always been telling people not to buy 23andMe, but buy AncestryDNA and run it through Promethease for those reports they've copied off 23andMe (Of course most of the analysis are "copied" off public research anyway, but Promethease pretty much started with the 23andMe results and still makes many references to it). Given MyHeritage's announcement of the health edition had an all-out attack on 23andMe, it certainly makes business sense for them to keep as many people off 23andMe as possible and direct all Promethease users to MyHeritage. Their press release is conspicuously absent of mentioning any plans for Promethease after this year, when they've copied the DNA data to MyHeritage, though.

This also raises some questions on the SNPedia part. I was concerned when Promethease/SNPedia retroactively modified the copyright assignment & other data on the SNPedia entries - primarily written by volunteer users. It seems that concern has come to fruitation now, years later, as that change allows SNPedia to just simply sell them to MyHeritage. While MyHeritage says they will keep it as free resource to researchers and academics... are they really going to allow people to just enter MyHeritage's health edition's own analysis there going forward? Although on strategic side, MyHeritage currently has more "polygenic risk reports" seemingly because they don't follow FDA rules, and SNPedia doesn't currently do polygenic reports, just individual SNP's and some groups of SNP's (genosets). (Technically copyright automatically prevents word-to-word copies of *most* non-government sources, but that's not necessarily enforced).

There are some alternatives, like I was just looking at Varsome, though they all work on the principle of "Let's take some public databases and then allow people to add content to our service for free", which as this MyHeritage acquisition shows, may be problematic. Also they're more expensive than Promethease, although I do like the features. In fact there was an earlier public variant annotation service I found very useful, until it was promptly sold and made expensive commercial tool. And yes, it would be extremely easy to cook something like that together oneself, but I'm musing about this whole field, regarding the ownership and commercialization of annotations and reports. Can we envision a system that would be fair and workable? There's probably a million Blockchain solutions on that already, which might not be entirely bad idea, as it could to some degree prevent anybody from taking ownership of everything and preserve large-scale anonymity, though to my mind Blockchain is still mainly a buzzword. There's also little incentive for anybody to *start* a Blockchain unless it's a pyramid scheme ;)

09-13-2019, 01:29 PM
Those in Europe can also opt-in to get transferred for free.

I've just received this email:

According to our records, you seem to be based in Europe; therefore, for GDPR compliance, none of your data will be copied.
To avoid missing out on the free benefits of ethnicity estimates and DNA matches on MyHeritage, European users of Promethease can decide to opt in. You can do this by sending an email to [email protected] from the email address associated with your Promethease account, mentioning your wish to opt in. If you do so, your data will be copied over from Promethease to MyHeritage on November 1, 2019 and you will be notified by email once this takes place

09-13-2019, 10:20 PM
If you already have a profile on MyHeritage, it won't be copied either. I haven't (yet) gotten that e-mail it seems, so I wonder if they already checked if my DNA matches that on MyHeritage. If so, that would seem like a GDPR violation in itself. Not one I particularly mind in this case, but the point of informed consent is not to assume. Or, I'll get the e-mail later. It does raise interesting thoughts.
Are there many people who use Promethease but not MyHeritage in the first place, because MyHeritage's had free import?