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Privacy update: data won’t be sold

It wasn’t a big change in the language of the privacy policy at MyHeritage that just took effect last week.

But it’s an important change.

MyHeritage privacy

In plain, unequivocal language, MyHeritage now states, in capital letters:

MYHERITAGE HAS NEVER SOLD OR LICENSED GENETIC DATA OR HEALTH DATA, AND WILL NEVER DO SO IN THE FUTURE.

MyHeritage will never provide data to insurance companies under any circumstances. MyHeritage prohibits law enforcement use of its DNA Services.1

And in repeats, again in capital letters:

PERSONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY YOU, INCLUDING GENETIC INFORMATION AND HEALTH INFORMATION, WILL NEVER BE SOLD OR LICENSED BY US TO THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING INSURANCE COMPANIES, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, OTHER CORPORATIONS OR EMPLOYERS.2

And it repeats again, and again in capital letters:

PERSONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY YOU, INCLUDING GENETIC INFORMATION AND HEALTH INFORMATION, WILL NEVER BE SOLD OR LICENSED BY US TO THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING INSURANCE COMPANIES, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, OTHER CORPORATIONS OR EMPLOYERS.

These protections cover everything related to DNA, including DNA samples, DNA Results, DNA Reports, DNA Health Reports, and so on.3

There is of course the necessary exception that the company “will not provide information to law enforcement unless required by a valid court order or subpoena for genetic information.” And that language has not changed.

None of this is really new language. It’s just simpler, and plainer, and absolutely unequivocal. The prior language had read, typically:

Personal information provided by you is never sold or licensed. We will never sell or license DNA information or health information to any third parties without your explicit informed consent. We will never sell or license DNA information or health information belonging to users from Russia, Norway or Sweden under any circumstances (even if they provide explicit informed consent). We will never sell or license any information to insurance companies under any circumstances. These protections cover everything related to DNA, including DNA samples, DNA Results, DNA Reports, DNA Health Reports, and so on.4

Now it’s just plain no — in the words of the company announcement, an “unequivocal commitment not to license or sell genetic data to any third party.”

Plain language.

A simple commitment.

A straightforward assurance to customer privacy.

Not a big change in language — but an important one.


Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “Plain language from MyHeritage,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 15 July 2021).

SOURCES

  1. MyHeritage Privacy Policy,” updated 6 July 2021, MyHeritage (https://www.myheritage.com/ : accessed 15 July 2021).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. MyHeritage Privacy Policy,” updated 17 Dec 2020, via Internet Archive WayBack Machine (https://web.archive.org/web/ : accessed 15 July 2021).
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