AncestryDNA is now accepting the necessity of raw data downloads

By Razib Khan | October 15, 2012 1:02 am

The Legal Genealogist points me to the fact that AncestryDNA is now going to work on allowing users to download their data. Here’s the specific section:

AncestryDNA believes that our customers have the right to their own genetic data. It is your DNA, after all. So we’re working to provide access to your raw DNA data in early 2013, which includes related security enhancements to ensure its safety during every step of the process. Moving forward, we plan to add even more tools and improvements for our customers, and any new features will be available to all AncestryDNA members.

If the rights of the customers to own their own data were so important to them they should have front-loaded this feature. As it is, they didn’t, and as many bloggers noted the firm had stated they didn’t have plans to unroll this feature in the near future. What changed? I don’t know the details, but I suspect they realized that many of us who complained in the past were going to continue to complain constantly. Combined with the contrast with its competitors, like 23andMe, and I assume they realized this just wasn’t going to solve itself if they ignored it. The key here is follow up. I’ll assume “early 2013” is no later than March 31st (the first 1/4th of the year). If AncestryDNA doesn’t have the feature out by then I’ll assume they’re not serious, and will begin trying to make sure that their deficits come up high on Google searches again.

Blogs and word of mouth matter a lot in this domain. I convinced James Miller, author of Singularity Surviving, to get his parents genotyped this weekend. Also, after more than two years of harassment a friend who works at Google finally got typed, and will be sending me his data.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Personal Genomics
MORE ABOUT: Personal genomics
  • RedZenGenoist

    Razib Khan: gata pitbull.

  • Brian H

    Interesting — I had a sequencing done by AncestryDNA a few months ago (the report wasn’t very detailed) and just sent my saliva sample to 23AndMe on Friday.

    Would there be any way — and more importantly, any reason — to compare the raw data from the two? Might one cover SNPs that the other doesn’t?

    AncestryDNA uses Sorenson (vs 23AndMe using its own laboratory [?]), I think, and it’s not immediately clear to me what instrumentation they use:

    I’m not sure if “WorldWide” is supposed to be a brand name, or what.

  • Razib Khan

    Would there be any way — and more importantly, any reason — to compare the raw data from the two? Might one cover SNPs that the other doesn’t?

    comes to mind

    – the chips have somewhat different SNPs

    – you can ‘fix’ no calls and such by comparing results on same SNPs


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Gene Expression

This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


See More


RSS Razib’s Pinboard

Edifying books

Collapse bottom bar