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US To Implement ‘Right To Repair’ Law For Consumers
By Alexa Heah, 08 Jul 2021
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Image via Shutterstock
President Joe Biden will task the US Federal Trade Commission with implementing new rules to stop manufacturers from limiting consumers’ ability to repair products on their own or at independent retailers.
According to Autoblog, while the details are currently unclear, this right-to-repair law will apply to firms such as smartphone manufacturers and Department of Defense contractors.
In recent years, tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft have curtailed consumers’ ability to repair devices on their own, allowing them to only get their devices fixed at the brand’s official stores, which consumer advocates say increases repair costs exponentially.
This new law is also said to potentially benefit farmers, who often face costly repairs due to tractor manufacturers that use proprietary tools and software, preventing third-parties from fixing the equipment on their own.
White House Economic Adviser Brian Deese said that the executive order – which is slated to be released in the next few days – will be designed to drive “greater competition in the economy, in service of lower prices for American families and higher wages for American workers.”
Tech manufacturers, not in favor of such a ruling, have warned that allowing third parties to access repair tools and software could result in badly fixed equipment, potentially posing a danger to consumers. From poorly installed batteries to unsafe modifications on heavy equipment, unofficial repair works could pose a threat to the health and safety of the public.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak aired his views on the subject, saying the people behind the right-to-repair movement are “doing the right thing.”
“We wouldn’t have had Apple if I didn’t grow up in an open technology world, an open electronics world,” he said.
[via Autoblog, cover image via Shutterstock]
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