23andMe has recently announced they will no longer allow third party developers of genetic services like Promethease and codegen.eu to access your genetic data when you acquire these services. In short, if your data cannot be accessed directly by the app developer so they can provide you with the report you choose, then you need to ensure you have a copy of this data file available, so you can use it to get fresh reports from genetic app providers, without having to resequenced your DNA and wait for weeks at a time.
Why is this relevant to 23andMe users
If 23andMe continue restricting external access to data, they could choose to limit or terminate availability for end users to the raw data files - making it impossible for you to access your own data or reuse it to buy other services. To prevent this from happening, the safest option is to download your data file now and safely store a copy of it somewhere secure but easily available.
Keep in mind that your own laptop may not be extremely secure as any personal device can break or be lost, so a cloud option should be your first choice. For instance, we provide a completely free specialized DNA data storage service.
5 step guide for downloading your genetic data from 23andMe
To make super easy, we have created a video to help you download your data from 23andMe. But you can also just follow the steps below.
Step 1: Go to www.23andMe.com and log in with your username and password.
Step 2: In the top navigation bar, click on the drop-down arrow next to your name and access the Browse Raw Data option.
Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom of the download page and click the Submit Request button to download your data.
Step 4: It may take several minutes for the download to be ready. 23andMe will send you an email, or you can just refresh the download page again in a few minutes.
Step 5: Download your data in the form of a .zip file and then follow the instructions to upload your Raw Data into the Lumminary DNA Vault
What is data from 23andMe and what can you do with it
While the data file downloaded from 23andMe may be a simple text file, third party genetic test providers like dnaPower, Home DNA, Xcode, Codegen and many others can analyze this file to provide you with new DNA reports, specialized on different aspects than the ones covered in your 23andMe insights. This means you will be able to get new insights without having to pay or wait for re-sequencing in order to use these services. You will just be able to upload your genetic data file and get new results within minutes or hours.
Access to this information opens up a whole world of future possibilities. Looking for an allergy test, or a personalized fitness and nutrition plan, or a more comprehensive ancestry report based on your genetic data? Having your DNA file on hand or in the DNA Vault grants you access to the largest number of genetic apps currently developed worldwide.
After the download, the file you receive from 23andMe is your digital format of your genetic information and consists of lines of your genotype call data (your A's, T's, C's and G's). The Raw Data file will be downloaded in the form of a zipped (.zip) text file, and its name begins with the word genome.
The safety of your genetic data & the DNA Vault
Why should you keep your genetic data in the DNA Vault, instead of storing it on a computer or cloud drive?
Unlike a password or user name, your DNA can’t be changed. Once it has been copied or accessed by a malicious external party, they will be able to analyze it over and over again and even identify you based on it. In a world where consumer genomics is becoming the norm, ensuring the privacy of your most personal and sensitive data, your DNA, is more important than ever.
This is why we created the DNA Vault. It’s a highly secure, encrypted storage platform, designed to keep your genetic data safe. In the DNA Vault, your data is anonymized, encrypted, and secured with top of the line practices and protocols, to ensure it cannot be accessed or connected to you personally in any way. We also keep the DNA Vault free, because at Lumminary we believe that the privacy of genetic data should be a universal right.