Apple and HP are among several major tech companies planning to fight against a "right to repair" bill in Nevada, one of the first to be filed. A committee hearing in the Nevada Legislature met Monday, according to a report from the Associated Press.
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The hearing will focus on whether the government should require HP and Apple (among others) to provide access to parts and schematics to independent repair shops and not just the companies' own authorized dealers.
Currently, 25 statehouses are taking right to repair bills under consideration, after an initiative that passed in Massachusetts last year. The Nevada bill is among the first of many that makers will be preparing to fight. The Nevada bill would apply to consumer products that cost under $5,000, which most daily use products fall under.
Nevada Assembly Woman Selena Torres argued that the right to repair devices would help organizations maintain equipment, which became an issue during the Covid-19 pandemic. We saw delays in repairs of everything from computers, cell phones, and life-saving ventilators.
At the hearing, Torres stated, "Early in the pandemic, a nationwide laptop shortage left millions of students unprepared for virtual learning. As an educator, I saw firsthand how families struggled to share one device with several school-aged children. The right to repair will give schools and other institutions the information they need to maintain equipment and empower the refurbished computer market, saving taxpayer dollars and improving digital access."
Cameron Demetre, the regional executive director for TechNet, said "unvetted third parties" having access to people's devices creates "the potential for troubling unintended consequences, including serious adverse security, privacy, and safety risks."
My question is, who do we as consumers trust more, the tech giants who make our devices, our government, or local mom-and-pop repair shops that will pop up if such laws are passed?