California has join 18 other states that are considering legislation that would give smartphone owners a ‘right to repair’ and could end years-long predatory practices from smartphone makers.
On Wednesday, a California lawmaker announced that The Golden State is considering legislation that would make devices easier to fix.
Under the “The Right to Repair Act,” the owners of electronic products and home appliances will have the right to go to a service provider or repair shop to have their devices fixed.
Democrat Susan Talamantes Eggman, who introduced the bill, believes that tech companies are behind a “planned obsolescence” that prevents their products from being fixed or refurbished.
The plan to introduce the bill was announced officially Wednesday but it has been in the making since last week. Under the new legislation, device makers will be forced to offer clear instructions on how their products can be repaired and offer access to repair parts.
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Apple Inc. is one of the companies that has repeatedly refused to offer repair guides and the tools needed by independent professionals to repair an iPhone are locked behind patents. Independent repair shops would also have access to diagnosis tools, after the bill passes.
Starting this year, the ‘right to repair’ has been considered by multiple states. So far, 19 states have introduced bills while several others are holding hearings to clarify the issue.
Apple, AT&T, Microsoft and other corporations have strongly lobbied against such legislation. These companies claim that allowing individuals to fix their own phones or appliances would create security and safety issues. When asked to be more specific on what those issues may be, none of the companies offered an explanation.
In Nebraska, Apple voiced concerns that a similar bill would create a Mecca for hackers. In California, the legislation was heavily backed by the digital security advocacy group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
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