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New York State Senate passes right to repair legislation

Credit: Apple

The New York State Senate has voted to pass right to repair legislation that could force Apple and other companies to make it easier for customers and repair shops to fix their devices.

On Thursday, the New York State Senate voted 51-12 to pass the Digital Fair Repair Act, becoming the country's first legislative body to approve a right to repair bill. The bill requires that original equipment manufacturers provide all the proprietary information and resources necessary for repairs available for sale to third-party repair providers and consumers.

To become law in New York, the bill still needs to pass the state's assembly. From there, it'll need to be signed by the governor. Currently, the New York State Assembly version of the bill is stalled, but lobbyists are working on getting it passed.

"Nothing prevents third party repairers from being technically competent to complete digital repairs other than the lack of information being withheld by manufacturers," the bill says.

Although it would compel companies to share detailed information about devices, the bill specifically does not include "trade secrets."

Apple opposes right to repair legislation, citing concerns about consumer safety and device security. The Cupertino tech giant has spent millions lobbying against similar bills across the country.

Internal communications revealed during a U.S. House investigation showed that there isn't a consensus about right to repair among Apple employees. Publicly, Apple has been expanding its independent repair provider program, which offers resources to approved third-party shops.

Currently, half of the states in the U.S. are set to consider similar right to repair bills in 2021.

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