Securepairs will take part in next week’s Nixing the Fix Workshop, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington D.C.
Securepairs member Gary McGraw, a world renowned expert in securing software applications, will speak on a panel exploring the arguments for and against repair restrictions at 2:00 PM.
Nixing the Fix is an FTC workshop that will examine the myriad ways in which manufacturers may limit third-party repairs. FTC set up the workshop to determine whether repair limitations affect consumer protection, including consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975.
According to the FTC’s website, Nixing the Fix “will discuss some of the issues that arise when a manufacturer restricts or makes it impossible for a consumer or an independent repair shop to make product repairs and whether such restrictions undercut the Warranty Act’s protections.”
In recent months, the FTC has reached out to parties for information on warranty restrictions. (Disclosure: Securepairs spoke with FTC staff about industry arguments that repair represents a cybersecurity risk.)
FTC has been looking to understand the prevalence of the certain types of repair restrictions, the effect of repair restrictions on the repair market in the United States, and the impact that manufacturers’ repair restrictions have on small and local businesses. The Commission is also interested in how repair restrictions impact the prices for repairing goods, accessibility and timeliness of repairs, and the quality of repairs.
Gary McGraw is a securepairs member and supporter. When he’s not speaking up in support of a right to repair, Gary is the co-founder of the Berryville Institute of Machine Learning, and a globally recognized authority on software security and the author of eight best-selling books on this topic including Software Security, Exploiting Software, Building Secure Software, Java Security, Exploiting Online Games, and others.
Gary has written over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, authors a periodic security column for SearchSecurity, and is frequently quoted in the press. He holds a dual Ph.D. in cognitive science and computer science from Indiana University, where he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Informatics. Gary served on the IEEE Computer Society Board of Governors. You can hear him on episodes of the Silver Bullet Security Podcast for IEEE Security & Privacy Magazine.
Gary will speak alongside Gay Gordon-Byrne, the Executive Director, The Repair Association, a longtime right to repair advocate. Also on the panel are two individuals representing industry groups opposed to repair: Earl Crane, an advisor to the Security Innovation Center, a front organization funded by the electronics industry to fight right to repair laws in the states, and George Kerchner, the Executive Director of PRBA – The Rechargeable Battery Association. The session will be moderated by Christine Todaro of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices.
This should be an interesting event, with an agenda balanced between right to repair proponents and opponents. If the FTC is earnest in its efforts to understand the impact of repair restrictions in their many forms, the Commission and its experts will need to push back against industry talking points, including those centering on cyber security, that are unfounded or exaggerated. (Check out iFixit.com’s blog post on the five most egregious anti-repair stories related to the FTC.)
Securepairs will be at the Workshop and we’ll have some reports out of the day-long event, so stay tuned.