back to article California's Governor Newsom signs laws on right to repair and data deletion

On Tuesday, California's Governor Gavin Newsom signed two law bills that give people more control over their devices and their data, the Right to Repair Act and the Delete Act. With the signing of the Right to Repair Act (SB 244), California becomes the fourth state to enact such rules, following New York, Colorado, and …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    A step forward

    And every little step is required for us, as a whole, to stop endlessly pillaging Earth's resources when it is not required.

    1. Dimmer Bronze badge

      Re: A step forward

      Totally impressed. It actually says what it is billed as.

      If you are an authorized repair center, documentation is free (unless it is printed )

      If you are not an authorized repair center, you must tell the customer.

      And the parts must be priced within reason.

      I expect it has holes, but it is a damm good start.

      Thanks for the link.

      John Deere, heads up - your next.

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Window dressing

    The bill is just window dressing to distract the feeble minded.The bill could have straightforwardly simply stated that when you buy equipment of any kind*, you own it and have the right to repair it yourself or chose who will repair it for you, and require that as long as the manufacturer has parts for it's own repair facilities, it has to sell those parts to owners & repair faculties at a price that isn't usury.

    *Not just electronics. Planes, trains, tractors, automobiles, pizza ovens, you name it.

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Window dressing

      I understand your thinking but it cannot be that open-ended. While I agree that you should be able to take a mobile phone with a broken screen to any repair shop (or buy the parts online and have a go yourself) there would need to be restrictions for some categories of items because of their purpose. You may well be capable of safely changing the brakes on your car but can you safely replace the magnetron in a radiotherapy system? Would you expect the receptionist at a school to be able to replace the fuser in the photocopier etc etc

      Small steps are the right approach here to ensure the correct battles are fought to pry manufacturer's fingers from 'our' stuff

      1. munnoch Bronze badge

        Re: Window dressing

        | You may well be capable of safely changing the brakes on your car but can you safely replace the magnetron in a radiotherapy system? Would you expect the receptionist at a school to be able to replace the fuser in the photocopier etc etc

        This is already self-correcting because of liability. Although not necessarily in a good way.

        As an end consumer (individual or corporate) you should be able to procure the parts, tools and know how for an agent of your choosing to ensure the availability of your asset.

        Whether you *choose* to do that is a different question. If you operate in the public domain and have duty of care towards your customers/patients/employees you may decide that the best approach is to pony up and get the original manufacturer to effect the repair. That way if the magnetron is incorrectly calibrated you can finger point the liability towards someone else.

        And remember that if you do change the brakes on your car (I always do), that the insurer who covers your back will walk away if they think the "well maintained" clause in the policy hasn't been met. In their eyes that means carried out by a competent person ie. one who has a piece of paper with their name on it hung on the wall, not someone who watched a couple of YT's.

        So, in a way, its fear of litigation that's the real enemy of right to repair. The need to have training and certification as a proxy for "competence" before you are allowed to lift a screwdriver.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Window dressing

        "You may well be capable of safely changing the brakes on your car but can you safely replace the magnetron in a radiotherapy system? Would you expect the receptionist at a school to be able to replace the fuser in the photocopier etc etc"

        What if you are a hospital group with an internal technical repair team? Replacing the fuser in a photocopier isn't a big deal these days, but instead of the receptionist doing the work, how about somebody in the school district's IT department? It can even be third party support companies that specialize in office or medical equipment.

  3. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Go

    Good For Them

    "This is not just legislation; it's a seismic shift in how we relate to our gadgets and who gets to fix them," said The Repair Association - a consortium of repairs businesses - in a statement on Tuesday. "This law marks a turning point, resembling a digital emancipation proclamation."

    I kinda doubt all that.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Coming soon

    More hot glue.

    Loads and loads of it.

  5. jmch Silver badge

    Data deletion

    This is a step in the right direction, but it really is just nibbling round the edges. There needs to be a seismic shift in how personal data is seen. It has to be recognised as something so completely personal that you are *not allowed* to sell it (whether for cash or for services), and anybody who has it only has it for the purposes of providing a service which cannot otherwise be provided (ie if someone is delivering something to your house they need your address, but not your DOB or SSN). It should equally not be allowed for *anyone* to sell or share your data. "We can share your data with partners" as a generic clause should be banned. If you are sharing with someone there needs to be express consent as to the exact data, recipient, timeframe, purpose etc. Most importantly 'targeted advertising' is *not* "a service which cannot otherwise be provided".

    The closest analogue I can think of is organ donation. Sale and brokerage of organs is illegal because otherwise poor people will be pressured into compromising their health for profit (and lets face it, mostly for other people's profit). Data needs to be regulated the same way, it has to be made illegal for companies to prey on people's personal data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Data deletion

      Sounds like the principles of the UK GDPR

      “(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);

      (b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);

      (c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);"

  6. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    "It has to be recognised as something so completely personal that you are *not allowed* to sell it (whether for cash or for services)"

    While I broadly agree that folks should have far better control over their personal data, to the extent of not providing any if they wish, I can't agree that they shouldn't be allowed to.

    If I am prepared to trade some personal data in exchange for cash or services, that is my choice - personal data, meaning it is mine, not yours or the government's, mine, to do with as I wish. As it happens, I probably wouldn't, but it is my choice to make.

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