You’ve probably experienced this at one time or another. Your phone or gadget breaks down and you have to bring it to the “official” or accredited companies that your OEM says should be the only ones that will repair your device. But the bad news is that it’s more expensive than your neighborhood repair shop. Well U.S President Joe Biden has given a task to the Federal Trade Commission to draft new rules with regards to this, particularly a right-to-repair directive.
The FTC will have to draft rules and determine the size and scope of the order, according to Bloomberg. This is not just directed at the tech industry but it’s probably the Apples and the Microsofts that will protest against this. It is big tech companies that have imposed limits on who can repair their broken consumer electronics and not give the user the freedom to choose independent repair companies or even do it themselves.
The executive order with the right-to-repair clause is expected to be released in the next few days. But you can expect the bigger players to protest this as they have previously warned that if you open access to these devices to other players, there might be some dangerous issues like wrong installation of batteries and modifications on the devices, which might result in damaged devices and place users in imminent danger.
The U.S is not the only one pushing for right-to-repair as the European Commission has also announced plans to set rules that will encompass smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Consumer rights activists have also been pushing for a rule like this and environmental activists are also saying a rule like this can curb electronic waste since consumers will not throw their broken devices anymore due to high cost of repair.
Aside from the tech industry, the executive order will also be covering the agriculture and airline industry as well. We’ll be hearing more about the scope of it once the official EO is released or even leaked.