From the Guardian last week:
Google's involvement suggests that 23andMe probably has larger ambitions than just providing individuals with gene maps. As its online store of genetic information grows and as customers add personal information, the company could end up with a database of extraordinary value to pharmaceutical firms, medical researchers and insurance companies.
Sorted and analysed with Google's sophisticated data-crunching tools, the database could disclose hidden connections between genes, aptitudes and diseases. In a privacy statement on its site, the company acknowledges that it plans to grant outside groups access to its database, allowing them to search, "without knowing the identities of the individuals involved", for correlations between genetic variations and health conditions. That could well turn into a major business.
The company also says that it will give users "the ability to connect with other 23andMe customers through sharing features". 23andMe could evolve into a social network, a biotech version of MySpace or Facebook where people make connections not with friends but with people who share similar genetic traits. This, too, could provide the basis for a lucrative business. Given that 23andMe tracks its customers' movements with cookies, it may not be long before we see genetically targeted advertising.
See also earlier articles by David Ewing Duncan in Portfolio: Welcome to the future and David Hamilton in VentureBeat: Will 23andMe and Navigenics lock up your genome and charge you for the key? (via Biopolitical Times)