TechCrunch reports on a medical privacy problem at DNA testing company 23andMe:
On Friday, 23andMe, the company that allows consumers to get portions of their genome tested for a relatively modest fee, announced that â€œa number of new 23andMe customer samples were incorrectly processedâ€ by the lab 23andMe contractsâ€ to carry out its tests. This resulted in â€œup to 96â€³ customers receiving DNA results that were not their own â€” a major mistake that led to some very confused customers, and will doubtless help bolster the push to increase regulation for direct-to-consumer genetic testing. 23andMe has notified all affected customers about the issue. […]
According to the blog Genetic Future, the problem likely stemmed from a single mishandled 96-well tray of customer DNA samples. Itâ€™s worth pointing out that the error resulted from a mistake at the contracted lab (in other words, 23andMe didnâ€™t run the DNA test itself). But 23andMe was still responsible for reporting that data to its customers, and in this case its safeguards clearly failed. 23andMe says it is taking measures to ensure this doesnâ€™t happen again.