We sent the following to NY State Governor Kathy Hochul today, but wanted to make it an “open letter” as well:
Dear Governor Hochul,
It has been more than four months since the New York legislature passed the Digital Fair Repair Act with a veto proof majority in the Senate and a near unanimous vote (145-2) in the New York Assembly. This bill needs your signature!
Manufacturers routinely refuse to sell spare parts or provide access to repair manuals and will continue to do so without YOUR signature! Without it, it’s near impossible to fix personal electronics, like cell phones.
When a manufacturer refuses to share the tools and information needed to fix a cracked smartphone screen, they get to charge whatever they want to repair it, or refuse to repair it altogether, pushing New Yorkers to replace it instead.
The NY Digital Fair Repair Act will remove these hurdles, giving consumers and independent shops access to what is needed to complete repairs.
Not only has this bill passed the NY Senate with at a “yay” rate of 98.6%, but a recent poll by Morning Consult and Politico found that close to 70% of voters surveyed said they support a legal right to repair.
We know that front groups funded by the electronics, home appliance and telecommunications industries (among others) have used the period since the legislature passed the law in June to lobby you to veto the Digital Fair Repair Act. They have argued it will compromise security and privacy protections in consumer electronics. That’s simply not true.
There is no cyber risk in the repair. As the wording of the bill makes clear: The Digital Fair Repair Act requires only manufacturers who already provide repair information to licensed repairers to provide the same information to owners of those devices and the independent repair providers. Manufacturers have tried to convince lawmakers that they will be free to share repair information with their business partners, but not to disclose the same information to their customers – the device owners – in the name of data privacy. That simply doesn’t make sense.
In a world full of “smart” devices, the Digital Fair Repair Act is very important. It brings the long-standing rights of consumers to the present. It’s time to make New York a leader in reform and consumer rights – and sign this historic bill into law.
As the President of the nation’s only Trade & Advocacy Association for the independent wireless shop – and as a native New Yorker, I urge you to sign this bill immediately!
National Wireless Independent Dealer Association.
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