Right to Repair legislation in Apple’s home state of California has been successfully pushed back to at least January 2020. After intervention by an Apple lobbyist, the co-sponsor of the bill pulled it from committee on Tuesday.
“While this was not an easy decision, it became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns,” said California Assembly member Susan Talamantes Eggman.
Eggman first introduced the bill in March 2018, and then again in March 2019. The Right to Repair act would compel tech companies to release repair guides and make official parts available to those who want them. This would have many benefits — including reducing the amount of e-waste produced each year year.
In a statement, Eggman said that:
“I feel that we are on the right side of this issue, and that ultimately the bill will prevail. Unfortunately, presenting it today would not advance the issue because it would jeopardize our opportunity to continue working on the bill next year. I will be working with members of the committee in the coming months to secure the support needed to make the Right to Repair a reality in California.”
Protesting the Right to Repair
A report from earlier this week noted that an Apple rep and lobbyist for CompTIA, which represents big tech, met with lawmakers in the California State Assembly ahead of the bill. The argument made was that people improperly disassembling their own iPhones could result in them harming themselves.
According to The Verge, committee members met with Apple lobbyist Rod Diridon, listed as Apple’s senior manager of “State and Local Government Affairs — West.” The publication notes that:
“He’s also listed as an Apple lobbyist at CompTIA’s website, and he appears to be the same Rod Diridon Jr. who abruptly left his role as the city clerk for Santa Clara, California last year, a town whose border runs along the edge of Apple’s new “spaceship” Apple Park headquarters.”
It was reportedly this “last-minute push” which convinced the bill’s sponsor that she needed to address them, before risking a possible “no” vote.