European Parliament votes to facilitate consumer right to repair

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in General Discussion
The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to support the right of consumers to repair their own phones, tablets, laptops and other devices without going through the companies that produced them.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The resolution, a report of recommendations to facilitate the right to repair, was passed with 395 votes in favor and 94 against, with 207 abstentions. As Euronews points out, it's only an advisory report, and it's still up to the European Commission to issue actual proposals.

"By adopting this report, the European Parliament sent a clear message: harmonized mandatory labelling indicating durability and tackling premature obsolescence at EU level are the way forward," said Rapporteur David Cormand, MEP from France.

The vote calls for the European Commission to "develop and introduce mandatory labelling, to provide clear, immediately visible and easy-to-understand information to consumers on the estimated lifetime and reparability of a product at the time of purchase."

Right to Repair Europe Right to Repair Europe Chloe Mikolajczak told Euronews that the move is a step in the right direction.

"Despite the political divisions, because there is a clear political division on this issue between conservatives and the progressives, we are seeing that the European Parliament is finally upholding its reputation as a defender of consumers' rights and environmental issues," she said.

Repair site iFixit notes that a recent EU survey found that 77% of EU citizens would rather repair a device than replace, and 79% thought that manufacturers should be legally obligated to facilitate the repair of devices or the replacement of parts.

Among the other provisions of the report, the motion calls for the assignment of repairability scores similar to those pioneered by iFixit. It also recommends compelling companies to provide instructions on how to repair devices, something that device makers like Apple don't do.

Apple has publicly opposed right to repair legislation in the U.S., arguing that it could threaten consumer safety and device security.

Internal communications between Apple staffers suggest that there is still debate and uncertainty surrounding right to repair policies within the company.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 
    lkruppkillroyflyingdp
  • Reply 2 of 30
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,457member
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 
    Plus you will be able to kiss security goodby if, for example, Apple is forced to provide details of the security features so third party parts makers can manufacture secure enclave clones. Apple could be forced to provide third party repair shops the special software and equipment needed to calibrate Touch ID components. Once in the hands of god-knows-who we will no longer be able to be assured our repaired iPhones are still secure and armored against hacking. This is Pandora’s Box being opened.
    jas99killroymac_dogflyingdp
  • Reply 3 of 30
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 110member
    lkrupp said:

    Plus you will be able to kiss security goodby if, for example, Apple is forced to provide details of the security features so third party parts makers can manufacture secure enclave clones. Apple could be forced to provide third party repair shops the special software and equipment needed to calibrate Touch ID components. Once in the hands of god-knows-who we will no longer be able to be assured our repaired iPhones are still secure and armored against hacking. This is Pandora’s Box being opened.
    You should read the article.  The proposal is only for a labelling scheme to indicate to consumers expected lifetime and how repairable a device is.  Considering the majority of people favour repairing a device rather than buying a new one this is a good thing in line with consumer wants.
    elijahgCloudTalkinInspiredCodemuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 30
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 

    Don't forget the tools you will have to buy to do the fix.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    seanjseanj Posts: 255member
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 
    In case you hadn’t noticed or been living in a cave, the U.K. left the EU at the end of January 2020, so the European Parliament can do whatever it likes, it will have no impact in the U.K.
    edited November 2020 elijahgsaarekCloudTalkin
  • Reply 6 of 30
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,314member
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 
    There are things called cars. They're arguably much more dangerous than a phone, and yet consumers can repair them themselves. So maybe we should ban unauthorised car repairs because prospectively they may kill someone at some point, despite the fact there is zero evidence that that has happened?
    CloudTalkinMplsPmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguygc_uk
  • Reply 7 of 30
    I hope EU passed a law that consumer is able to fix their own cpu and ram so that cpu and ram is as big as computer in Apollo era. So we can use our tweezer  to fix the cpu bit by bit.  
    larryjw
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Sure, you can fix or have someone else not authorized to fix your iPhone, just don’t expect Apple to consider that device anything less than defective after the fact. Apple cannot be held responsible for someone else’s screwups.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    fred1fred1 Posts: 829member
    The law is about making it easier to do your own repairs, not saying that you have to. It’s also about making it easier for third-party technicians to do repairs.  
    No one is forcing you to repair your device on your own.
    muthuk_vanalingamgc_uk
  • Reply 10 of 30
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 

    You're exaggerating. Just because people are given the right to repair their iPhones, does not mean that everybody will start doing so. People have to buy tools and have the knowledge. From what I've noticed, people who don't know how to repair phones don't even bother with it and just have professionals repair it for them.
    fred1muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Does the right to repair require companies to design and manufacture to repair? 

    The whole scheme is flawed. There are no consumers who want a right to repair. Consumers can change a lightbulb, and fill their cars with gas. Asking them to do anything else is a waste. 

    The demand has been manufactured by businesses who want customers. 

    No. The crux is non-replaceable batteries. That’s it. Since we’re actually talking about lithium batteries, that’s an issue on several fronts. 
  • Reply 12 of 30
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,435member
    gc_uk said:
    lkrupp said:

    Plus you will be able to kiss security goodby if, for example, Apple is forced to provide details of the security features so third party parts makers can manufacture secure enclave clones. Apple could be forced to provide third party repair shops the special software and equipment needed to calibrate Touch ID components. Once in the hands of god-knows-who we will no longer be able to be assured our repaired iPhones are still secure and armored against hacking. This is Pandora’s Box being opened.
    You should read the article.  The proposal is only for a labelling scheme to indicate to consumers expected lifetime and how repairable a device is.  Considering the majority of people favour repairing a device rather than buying a new one this is a good thing in line with consumer wants.
    Yeah, the details really matter on this. The labeling thing sounds fine to me. 

    The thing that would be massively problematic is mandates that force companies to make substantial changes to the design of their products. It sounds like we don’t know yet if that will happen. But I bet it doesn’t — I don’t think politicians really want to be responsible for doubling the thickness of an iPhone so that the battery can be replaced, for example.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,264member
    There are both benefits and costs to Apple's Walled Garden - and the wall includes hardware as well as software.

    Only looking at one side of that equation is foolish.   Only looking at one side of an issue (any issue) is the game of charlatans and ideologues.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    fred1 said:
    The law is about making it easier to do your own repairs, not saying that you have to. It’s also about making it easier for third-party technicians to do repairs.  
    No one is forcing you to repair your device on your own.
    The problem is that after the third party does the repair, Apple still has to support that device, including all the software updated that happen after the repair. Let's say a third party replaces the battery, and then due to an Apple software update, which didn't take into account the replacement battery with different properties, the CPU gets fried. Whose fault is that, Apple's? Or the third party repair shop?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Yesterday it was USB power bricks. Today it's labels for repairability. Tomorrow something else. At some point I hope Apple just removes their product for sale from troublesome jurisdictions. Without notice.

    The difference between right-to-repair on cars and right-to-repair on Phones is that if an iOS "private signing key" is compromised by some third party shop, ALL phones are compromised, since these private keys are on all iOS devices, not just on the phone that was repaired at that shop. I don't expect the average person in the unwashed masses to understand this, and Apple hasn't made this argument yet.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Yesterday it was USB power bricks. Today it's labels for repairability. Tomorrow something else. At some point I hope Apple just removes their product for sale from troublesome jurisdictions. Without notice.

    The difference between right-to-repair on cars and right-to-repair on Phones is that if an iOS "private signing key" is compromised by some third party shop, ALL phones are compromised, since these private keys are on all iOS devices, not just on the phone that was repaired at that shop. I don't expect the average person in the unwashed masses to understand this, and Apple hasn't made this argument yet.
    I think repairability labels would be great. I wouldn’t do this on a Phone or MacBook Pro because they are too integrated and have too few parts, but it would certainly be good to know when buying other products.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Yesterday it was USB power bricks. Today it's labels for repairability. Tomorrow something else. At some point I hope Apple just removes their product for sale from troublesome jurisdictions. Without notice.

    The difference between right-to-repair on cars and right-to-repair on Phones is that if an iOS "private signing key" is compromised by some third party shop, ALL phones are compromised, since these private keys are on all iOS devices, not just on the phone that was repaired at that shop. I don't expect the average person in the unwashed masses to understand this, and Apple hasn't made this argument yet.
    I think repairability labels would be great. I wouldn’t do this on a Phone or MacBook Pro because they are too integrated and have too few parts, but it would certainly be good to know when buying other products.
    Repairability labels for every EU country, in every different language in the EU? That’s a big label.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,256member
    lkrupp said:
    genovelle said:
    Will the UK handle the deaths from batteries and calls from consumers who brick their devices prematurely by calling themselves repairing them. This will run quite a few companies out of business as few of them can afford to take on this additional expense in the none Apple world because they are already loosing money on these devices. 
    Plus you will be able to kiss security goodby if, for example, Apple is forced to provide details of the security features so third party parts makers can manufacture secure enclave clones. Apple could be forced to provide third party repair shops the special software and equipment needed to calibrate Touch ID components. Once in the hands of god-knows-who we will no longer be able to be assured our repaired iPhones are still secure and armored against hacking. This is Pandora’s Box being opened.
    Wow - I replaced the battery on my old iPhone 6s and it didn’t blow up at all. Nor did it get hacked. I must be the luckiest SOB on the planet. And all the samsung batteries that were exploding must have been the result of illicit 3rd party repairs. Or maybe these histrionic rankings are not funded in any truth or reality and, like in other industries, 3rd party repairs will simply give consumers more choices. Nah. 
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
  • Reply 19 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,256member

    fred1 said:
    The law is about making it easier to do your own repairs, not saying that you have to. It’s also about making it easier for third-party technicians to do repairs.  
    No one is forcing you to repair your device on your own.
    The problem is that after the third party does the repair, Apple still has to support that device, including all the software updated that happen after the repair. Let's say a third party replaces the battery, and then due to an Apple software update, which didn't take into account the replacement battery with different properties, the CPU gets fried. Whose fault is that, Apple's? Or the third party repair shop?
    Sure, you can fix or have someone else not authorized to fix your iPhone, just don’t expect Apple to consider that device anything less than defective after the fact. Apple cannot be held responsible for someone else’s screwups.
    Yet another straw man argument. If a device is damaged from a 3rd party repair, it’s the 3rd party’s responsibility. Duh. The only people who expect Apple to be responsible for someone else’s work are the people making these arguments.
    edited November 2020 killroymuthuk_vanalingamgc_ukelijahg
  • Reply 20 of 30
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,256member
    I have a gas fireplace. And a gas stove. The potential danger for both of these is thousands of times greater than a phone, yet somehow it’s not a problem to have an independent repairman come in and fix my stove and no one is yelling and bellyaching that these repairmen are putting the neighborhood at risk for gas explosions.

    I take my car to the neighborhood repair shop and get a new battery. And brakes. And alternator. If the computer gets fried they tell me I need to go to the dealer to have them reprogram it. And my car is working perfectly despite all these incompetent hacks working on it that are clearly a menace to society because they don’t work for Honda. Hmmm. I assume everyone complaining here never goes anywhere except the dealer to get their car fixed? And they never use anything except OEM parts? 
    muthuk_vanalingamelijahg
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