Monday, February 6, 2023

Industry Leaders Paint a Dark Picture of the “Right to Repair” Law

By Debjani Chaudhury - July 11, 2019 4 Mins Read

Consumer security experts across the globe have come together calling for economic justice for consumers safeguarding their right to choose repair sources. The bill is devised to put an end to the monopoly of technology giants and OEMs over the global repair market.

The activists have launched a platform to galvanize the information security industry’s support to the proposed right to repair laws. Together, they aim to impose strict rules, promising multiple competitive repair options along to consumers. Securepairs mobilizes information security professionals to help secure the right to repair in their home cities by writing letters and emails providing expert testimony about the real sources of cyber risks in connected devices. is a voice that will guide the policymakers with accurate information about the security problems plaguing connected devices.

The supporters of the right to repair are battling with well-funded industry efforts targeting to kill  the new legislation. A fog of anxiety floats over the New Hampshire state to pass the proposed right to repair bill into law. HB 462 seems to be a modest proposal demanding firms to maintain accurate documentation, tools, and virus checks for software pressing on their responsibility to conduct regular maintenance and repair of equipment. Sixteen other states including Massachusetts and Hawaii seek to cement the right of owners to repair their individual property preventing device manufacturers repair monopolies

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However, industry representatives like   the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, wireless industry group CTIA, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), TechNet, the technology industry lobby are all completely opposing the above legislation. They claim that repairs performed by the equipment owners, or independent repair professionals carry serious implications imposing economic, safety, and security risks. Experts from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) warned that the right to repair could risk life.

Right to repair will disrupt the manufacturing cycle of the short-lived product to enhance revenue generation through repairs. It will provide business consumers with parts, service information, and tools to self-fix products. The support for the right to repair has spread like a forest fire with 19 states introducing similar bill across countries. The reform would not only save money, cut waste and create small business opportunities, but also eat into a significant revenue earning avenue of tech companies.

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Tech giants are spending big bucks to stop the passing of the Right To Repair law.

In an earlier precedent, despite the support of New York Assembly’s prominent leaders, Assembly Bill 8192, or the “Fair Repair Act,” failed to get a vote. Some reports suggest that this  failure was possible due to a big lobbying push by Apple. While Apple led the charge against this bill, other companies including Toyota, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon, Medtronic, Caterpillar, and Johnson & Johnson lobbied on both proposals during the same time, spending a combined $102,160 to stop the implementation of the right to repair. The digital right to repair coalition reported a whopping $5,162 on legislative lobbying over the same time. In total, companies lobbying against Right to Repair represent $2.5 trillion in total value.

Top global giants across the tech and manufacturing industry led by Apple and Oracle claimed that the right to repair would expose residents to significant security vulnerabilities and have a chilling effect on innovation. Surveys suggest that the lobbyist backed by the tech industry tried to reinforce the notion that people prefer secure devices over the more uncomplicated repair. The right to repair supporters highlight the “Security through obscurity” concept as the key to motivating enhanced transparency in the implementation of security in the systems. The fiery debate regarding the passing of the “Right to Repair” law is escalating anxiousness across both big and small tech and manufacturing firms.

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Debjani Chaudhury

Debjani Chaudhury works as an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. In this capacity, she contributes editorial articles for two platforms, focusing on the latest global technology and trends.Debjani is a seasoned Content Developer who comes with 3 years of experience with Fashion, IT, and International Marketing industries. She has represented India in International trade forums like Hannover Messe, Germany.

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