In a panic, 23andMe modified their terms of service to stop clients who had been hacked from suing.

23andMe frantically changed its terms of service to prevent hacked customers from suing

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The genetic testing company 23andMe modified its terms of service to prevent customers from filing class action lawsuits or participating in jury trials. This change came just a few days after reports revealed that hackers gained access to the personal information of nearly 7 million individuals, which is approximately half of the company’s user base, during an October hack by the hackers.

The company announced that it had made changes to the “Dispute Resolution and Arbitration section” of its terms of service in an email that was sent to customers earlier this week and was viewed by TechKelly “To include procedures that will encourage a prompt resolution of any disputes and to streamline arbitration proceedings where multiple similar claims are filed” was the stated goal of the modifications.” When users click through, they are taken to the most recent version of the company’s terms of service, which, in essence, prohibit customers from initiating class action lawsuits. This is something that a greater number of individuals are likely to do now that the scope of the attack is more apparent.

The amended terms state that “to the fullest extent allowed by applicable law, you and we agree that each party may bring disputes against the other party only in an individual capacity and not as a class action, collective action, or class arbitration.” This is the only way that each party may file a disagreement against the other party. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that 23andMe will automatically opt clients into the new terms unless they expressly alert the company that they do not agree with the conditions by sending an email within thirty days of getting the notice from the company. Customers are informed in an email sent by the corporation that if they do not comply with the new conditions, they “will be deemed to have agreed to the new terms.”

According to TechKelly, 23andMe did not respond to their request for a remark.

The genetic testing organization under the leadership of Anne Wojcicki, which is situated in San Francisco, announced in October that hackers had gained access to sensitive user information. This information included photographs, complete names, geographical locations, information connected to genealogy trees, and even the names of family members who were related to the individual. It was stated by the corporation that there was no exposure of any genetic material or DNA data. A few days following the assault, the hackers made profiles of hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese individuals available for purchase on the internet. However, until the previous week, it was unclear how many individuals were affected by the situation.

23andMe has said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that “multiple class action claims” have already been filed against the firm in legal proceedings that have taken place in federal and state courts in the state of California, as well as in state courts in the state of Illinois, and courts located in Canada.

According to Axios, preventing individuals from bringing class action lawsuits conceals information about the procedures from the general public. This is because impacted parties often seek to resolve disagreements with arbitrators in secret. Axios was informed by professionals, including Nancy Kim, a professor of law at Chicago-Kent College of Law and an expert on online contractors, that modifying the wording of 23andMe’s agreement would not be sufficient to defend the company in court.

New terms imposed by the corporation are causing criticism on the internet. On the website X, a user who goes by the name Daniel Arroyo stated the following: “Wow, they first screw up, and then they try to screw their users by being shady.” A further user by the name of Paul Duke stated, “It appears that they are trying to cover their asses and head off lawsuits after announcing that hackers got personal data about customers.”

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