People could hurt themselves fixing their own iPhones, lobbyists warn

By

Right to Repair
Apple doesn't want you opening up your devices.
Photo: iFixit

An Apple representative reportedly met with California legislators in an effort to kill a law that would make it easier for people to repair their own smartphones.

With initiatives like its battery replacement program, Apple helped extend the life of million of iPhones. But moves like this won’t please “right to repair” advocates.

Motherboard, which broke the story, cites two anonymous sources in the California State Assembly. They say an Apple rep and a lobbyist for CompTIA, which represents big tech, met with the lawmakers. The lobbyists reportedly told members of the state assembly’s Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee that a person improperly disassembling their own iPhone could harm themselves.

The big (alleged) danger? Accidentally puncturing the lithium-ion battery that powers such devices.

The meetings came after CompTIA and 18 other trade organizations sent letters opposing right-to-repair legislation to members of the committee.

“With access to proprietary guides and tools, hackers can more easily circumvent security protections, harming not only the product owner but also everyone who shares their network,” one letter stated. “When an electronic product breaks, consumers have a variety of repair options, including using an OEM’s [original equipment manufacturer] authorized repair network.”

“To suggest that there are safety and security concerns with spare parts and manuals is just patently absurd,” Nathan Proctor, director of consumer rights group US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign, told Motherboard. “We know that all across the country, millions of people are doing this for themselves. Millions more are taking devices to independent repair technicians.”

Apple vs. Right to Repair

Apple’s stance against the right to repair is nothing new. Records show the company spent money lobbying against it. Under CEO Tim Cook’s leadership, Apple’s doubled its overall lobbying efforts.

Previously, Apple delegates opposed Right to Repair bills elsewhere. In Nebraska, the company argued that providing ready access to its components and service manuals would make the state a “Mecca for bad actors.” Apple devices are also notoriously difficult to repair.

Do you think Apple has a point about the risk inherent in people taking apart their devices without proper training? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Motherboard