Thursday, August 6, 2020

"Blackstone agrees to buy Ancestry in $4.7 billion deal"

StatNews:

In response to [slumping business], Ancestry has rolled out a series of new products aimed at strengthening its offerings in the health arena, similar to the services 23andMe provides. But unlike 23andMe, Ancestry has not yet managed to concretely link its wealth of data on family history to the kinds of genetic-related health information that consumers are interested in, Hercher said.

Ancestry has “this enormous database which inherently has a lot of value hidden in it — potential energy,” said Hercher. “But they have not figured out how to get that information out in the way 23andMe has.”

Ancestry’s deal with Blackstone appears geared toward doing just that
Gizmodo suggested Blackstone might use the data in various discriminatory ways, and Blackstone responded:
“The premise of this article is false. We are deeply committed to following all fair housing laws and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” Anderson said. “Furthermore, Blackstone itself will not have access to this data and we will never—repeat never—share it between these two businesses.”