July 21, 2021

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TechNet’s Statement on the FTC’s Policy Statement on the Secure and Safe Repair of Digital Products

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 Federal Trade Commission’s adoption of a policy statement on the repair of digital products:  

“The FTC’s decision to upend an effective and secure system for consumers to repair products that they rely on for their health, safety, and well-being, including phones, computers, fire alarms, medical devices, and home security systems, will have far-reaching, permanent impacts on technology and cybersecurity. Government mandates forcing manufacturers to provide unrestricted access to digital keys and intellectual property will diminish creativity and threaten innovation.

“The reality is 29 states this year alone decided not to pursue this exact policy because authorized repair providers, including many local, small, and family-owned businesses have established relationships with manufacturers and have the training and qualifications needed to safely and properly repair digital devices. Allowing unauthorized third parties with access to sensitive diagnostic information, software, tools, and parts would jeopardize the safety and security of consumers’ computers, tablets, and other devices and put them at risk for fraud and data theft.

“Instead of implementing policies that threaten consumers safety and security, the FTC should work with the manufacturers and the tech industry to guarantee that providers trusted to repair consumer products are able to do so safely, securely, and correctly.”

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