CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global technology industry, attended an all-day workshop hosted by the Federal Trade Commission that focused on repair policies of device manufacturers and the need to ensure safe, secure and accessible repairs for consumers.
Participants, which included tech companies and government officials, discussed various aspects of this ecosystem including existing consumer access to a multitude of repair options, the authorized network provider system operations and attempts at state legislation over the last few years.
“Today’s FTC panel discussions demonstrated that in today’s interconnected world, the repair of devices must be done in a safe, secure and trained environment,” said Cinnamon Rogers, Executive Vice President of Public Advocacy for CompTIA. “Government mandates on manufacturers to provide diagnostic tools, specs, original parts and software to anyone who requests it will prioritize consumer security behind the access needs of independent repair providers.
“There are serious security issues at stake. Manufacturers have responsibilities and obligations that extend beyond the point of sale of a device,” Rogers said. “Many diagnostic programs are developed by the manufacturer at significant cost and are confidential or licensed under a contractual arrangement. Providing unauthorized repair facilities and individuals with access to proprietary information without contractual safeguards creates security risks.”
While the technology industry supports the ability of consumers to freely and safely repair their electronic devices, manufacturers are concerned with the way in which it has been proposed.
“We’ve seen these proposed policies advocated across a number of state capitols over the last few years and have opposed them given that they declare winners and losers in the free marketplace,” said Alexi Madon, Vice President of State Government Affairs at CompTIA. “Authorized repair shops that have devoted time, money and resources to becoming educated on product repair would be at a disadvantage as independent repair shops who have not invested will receive the same advantages as those who have. Consumers expect and deserve safe and secure repair that can be delivered by authorized repair providers who have gone through proper training on how to repair a device.”
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 50 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce.
CompTIA supports policies that advance free and open competition; promote a highly educated and technical workforce; encourage collaboration and cooperation in ideas and technology; advance regulations that positively impact the ability of the private sector to effectively research, develop, integrate, manufacture, service and sell solutions in the global marketplace; and improve the use of technology in the state and local government, human services and space enterprise markets. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.