Our Core Values

23andMe was founded to empower individuals and develop new ways of accelerating research. The members of 23andMe have come together because we believe in the combined potential of genetics and the Internet to have a significant, positive impact. These Core Values represent what motivates us at 23andMe.

We believe that having the means to access one’s genetic information is good.

For more than a century scientists have been learning how our genes help make us the way we are, operating in conjunction with diet, environment and other factors to influence aspects of our appearance, behavior, and physiology. Yet until now it has been impossible to see more than a tiny fragment of the DNA code that lies inside each of us.

At 23andMe we believe genetic research tools can and should be used to give us a deeper understanding of the role genes play in our individual lives. By tapping into advances in DNA analysis and offering education, tools, and expertise, we at 23andMe want to help others take a bold, informed step toward self-knowledge. We also hope to promote an open discussion of our values with the broader community, including not just our customers but also experts in science, medicine, and policy.

We believe that your genetic information should be controlled by you.

23andMe provides a service: linking you to your genetic data. It is our job to present it with as much context as we can and offer tools to help you explore. Since it is your data, we give you the option to share with other 23andMe members at basic or extended levels or opt-out of sharing entirely.

We believe that people’s similarities are just as important as their differences.

Each and every one of us is unique, but we also share more than a few fundamental similarities. That’s one of the biggest lessons of research in the genomic age. But even many of the things that make us distinct – like having blue eyes, high blood pressure, or Native American ancestry – we also share with others. 23andMe wants to help you connect to and create communities around existing common interests and newfound affinities.

We believe that the value of your genetic information will increase over time.

Your genotype stays the same, but science is constantly moving: two steps forward, one step back, and often one step sideways. We keep you up-to-date with the latest biomedical literature so you can understand firsthand how breaking scientific news relates directly to you. 23andMe’s researchers and advisors stay abreast of the latest happenings in genetic research and tell you how they may relate to your personal information. We also give you basic knowledge that allows you to find your way in the ever-changing world of research.

We encourage dialogue on the ethical, social and policy implications of personalized genetic services.

We recognize that the availability of personal genetic information raises important issues at the nexus of ethics, law, and public policy. 23andMe is committed to fostering open dialogue with a full spectrum of stakeholders. In areas where new policies are needed to protect the public interest, we will engage directly with decision-makers to contribute our unique expertise and perspective.

We believe in giving everyone the opportunity to contribute to improving human understanding.

It’s fun to learn about your own genome in the light of what you know about yourself, and even more enlightening to see how your data compares to that of your family and friends. But what if you could, at the same time, contribute to science’s understanding of how genes interact with the environment to make individuals who they are? We are building a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing resource for research that combines advances in genetic analysis with the power of the Internet.

Because we believe 23andMe’s mission extends to the advancement of science, we give you the opportunity to participate in research that could improve understanding of how genetics influences our lives.

So when you send in that DNA sample, you’re not only learning about yourself, you’re joining a community of motivated individuals who can collectively impact research and basic human understanding. In today’s connected information age, it’s no longer just about me. Instead, it’s about how we can change our understanding of ourselves by joining together.

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