The Debate Over Right To Repair In Massachusetts

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Massachusetts has two Ballot Questions this November - one on Right to Repair and another on Ranked Choice Voting. We unpack Ballot Question 1, the new Right to Repair.

At issue is whether the increasingly wireless information transferred between newer car models and dealerships should also be transferable to independent auto repair shops, and the privacy and safety concerns of doing so.

A "yes" vote on Question 1 would require manufacturers that sell vehicles with these telematics systems in the Commonwealth to create an open data platform, which would allow owners and independent repair shops to access that data and run diagnostics remotely. It would begin with 2022 models.

A "no" vote would mean no change to the current Right to Repair law, which exempts telematics systems from access by independent repair shops.

We're joined by advocates on both sides of Question 1, brought to you by WBUR and The McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston. We'll hear from Tommy Hickey, director of the Right to Repair Coalition, and Conor Yunits, spokesperson for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data. We also check in with WBUR's Callum Borchers, who has been reporting on the ballot question.

This segment aired on October 19, 2020.

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Tiziana Dearing Host, Radio Boston
Tiziana Dearing is the host of Radio Boston.


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Chris Citorik Senior Producer
Chris Citorik was a senior producer for Radio Boston.



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