July 9, 2021

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TechNet Statement on Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy

Washington, D.C. – TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today issued the following statement, attributed to Carl Holshouser, SVP, TechNet, on the latest Executive Order, Promoting Competition in the American Economy, specifically the competition and repair mandate elements of the order:  

“This executive order could delay how consumers receive goods needed for their health, safety, and well-being; limit access to critical information; and deny conveniences — and, in some cases, necessities — those consumers have come to rely on throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They put at risk free services that consumers use to message and call loved ones, get directions, connect with healthcare professionals, consume online content — including news and educational content — and much more.  They would also limit several services that small businesses depend on to reach customers, grow their businesses, and add jobs.”

“TechNet stresses that Cybersecurity requirements protecting sensitive consumer information should be built into the ground floor of any new regulations governing this marketplace. Our smartphones, laptops, and tablets allow access to our passwords, private conversations, family photos, and banking information. Repairing this vault of sensitive consumer data should require security protections that ensure privacy and give consumers peace of mind.” 

“Authorized repair providers, including many local small, family-owned businesses across the country, have established relationships with manufacturers. This ensures these businesses receive the appropriate training directly from manufacturers and have the qualifications to properly and safely repair devices.” 

“States have continually rejected legislation like this, with 25 states alone last year deciding not to take action. Legislators consistently weigh the argument and time after time, have chosen not to create government mandates forcing manufacturers to provide unrestricted access to digital keys and proprietary information for thousands of internet-connected products, including phones, computers, fire alarms, and home security systems. Allowing unvetted third parties with access to sensitive diagnostic information, software, tools, and parts would jeopardize the safety of consumers’ computers, tablets, and devices and put them at risk for fraud and data theft."

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