MyHeritage, a family history research site with more than 80 million members, has announced that it will now allow uploading of raw DNA data from top testing companies to its website. They are encouraging current members with active family trees to upload their DNA for free to connect with potential genetic matches.
This service will enable people who have already tested their DNA through DNA testing services (such as 23andMe, Family Tree DNA, and AncestryDNA) to enjoy MyHeritage’s exceptional matching capabilities for their family history research, and get more value from the DNA test they already took. We invite such users to export their raw DNA data from the service they tested on (which is straightforward) and import this data to MyHeritage now, so that when our DNA Matching service is released soon, they will receive matches immediately, and at no cost.
According to the blog post, DNA uploads will be free for a period of time (and resulting data will remain free for early adopters) but will then become a premium feature. MyHeritage currently allows members to host a family tree without cost, while record research is a paid service.
Current members should find a new tab in their profiles where this information can be uploaded and matches are promised “very soon.” Brand new members who choose to upload their GEDCOMs or create a new tree on MyHeritage appear to also have this feature available to them.
Currently, the offer seems to be targeted towards those who want to find new ways to connect with family members using a combination of their family tree and DNA results, although MyHeritage also notes that they plan to offer “ethnic/geographic origin reports” at some time in the future (which will also be free for those who upload their data now, according to the post).
Members can upload data for themselves and, with consent, close relatives. Privacy concerns about sharing of DNA data online has been an ongoing problem, so it is a good idea to have clear, written permission from any person whose DNA you intend to upload to this or any other service.
Via the comments, some members have requested standard DNA analysis tools, such as a chromosome browser, but there is not word yet if MyHeritage will offer such features.
MyHeritage does not offer DNA testing itself so this request is only valid for those individuals who have completed autosomal testing through one of the top DNA testing companies, such as FTDNA, 23andMe or Ancestry DNA.
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While MyHeritage has made promises in its release about data privacy, it is vital that you understand all of the terms before taking advantage of this offer. Before choosing to upload your DNA to MyHeritage we encourage you to read this blog post, which answers common questions about this new service, and to educate yourself on MyHeritage’s privacy and service terms. Ask questions and make comments on the blog post or by contacting their customer care for more information and help with this new feature.
See our updated article on MyHeritage DNA Tests here.