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23andMe Faces Backlash Over Terms Change After Data Breach

  • 23andMe modifies terms, hindering collective legal action by breach victims after a data breach.
  • Legal experts decry 23andMe's changes, describing them as a "cynical" attempt to protect the company's interests.
  • Despite altered terms, customers are exploring legal avenues, including filing class action lawsuits against 23andMe.

Days before revealing a data breach affecting 7 million users, 23andMe modified its terms of service to hinder collective legal action by breach victims, according to legal experts. 

The changes discourage customers from pursuing mass arbitration, making it more challenging for users to unite in legal claims against the company. Critics argue that the alterations are a "self-serving" attempt to protect 23andMe's interests, limiting customers' ability to address the significant data breach collectively. 

Legal professionals describe 23andMe's revised terms as "cynical," criticizing the company for making it harder for breach victims to seek legal recourse. The altered times force customers into individual arbitration, discouraging mass arbitration efforts, which have proven costly for companies. 

Critics argue that the changes attempt to weaken customers' legal positions and avoid facing the financial implications of mass arbitration. The move raises concerns about the balance of power between corporations and consumers in forced arbitration processes.

In response to 23andMe's modified terms, customers are exploring legal avenues, with some filing class action lawsuits against the genetic testing company. Critics suggest that victims should still pursue class action lawsuits despite the exclusion in the terms, challenging the recent changes in court. 

Edited by Shruti Thapa