Apple has taken notice of a proposed law in Nebraska that would open up repair options for users and likely make repair cheaper and quicker. The Nebraska law, otherwise known as Legislative Bill 67 (Fair Repair Act), would mandate manufacturers publically provide service guides and materials that would allow a third-party to repair broken tech devices. In the case of Apple, you need to bring your device into an Apple Store for repair or send it to Apple themselves to fix any issues. Even if Apple can fix your issue, often times Apple repairs can become costly.
“Some of us believe that this practice is monopolistic,” said Sen. Phil Boyle, who is sponsoring a similar bill in New York. “If I buy a computer, they are almost requiring me to go back to the facility to get it fixed at an inflated rate.” Aside from Nebraska and New York, lawmakers are reportedly considering “right to repair” laws in Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Wyoming, Ars Technica reports — though previous similar legislation has failed to pass.
Part of the problem and argument against the proposed law is security. Companies like Apple argue that providing service guides, repair materials, and diagnostic materials could compromise the security of their devices putting users at risk. The battle between Nebraska and Apple is certainly something to watch and see how things pan out. If LB 67 does pass, that could open a whole new can of worms in many other states.
“If LB 67 passes, Nebraska will be the first state to pass this legislation, and it would have a domino effect nationwide,” Sen. Brasch wrote on her website. “This legislation will positively impact all consumers, of all ages and income levels, by adding competition to the electronic repair market, and by paving the way for more innovation. I did not realize how important this legislation is nationally until Apple sent lobbyists to my office to oppose it.”