‘Fear Campaign’ alleged In Massachusetts right to repair battle
Opponents of a proposed ballot question that would require vehicle manufacturers to allow repair shops to access digital information are running a “fear campaign” by alleging that the suggested law would create privacy risks, consultant and former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Wednesday.
The proposal, which would update a 2013 law by mandating that vehicle owners and independent repair shops can access telematic data often held by manufacturers, has prompted significant debate about cybersecurity.
Proponents are hoping to use the initiative petition process to trigger either a legislative change or a November ballot question. They want to expand the existing law to guarantee consumer or independent business access to telematic information exempted in the 2013 statute.
“When we agreed to that (exemption) as the olive branch with the manufacturers back in the original generation of this bill, telematics was in its infancy. It is no longer,” said Glenn Wilder, whose family has owned the Wilder Brothers tire and repair shop in Scituate for 112 years. Wilder Brothers Tire and Repair Shop is a Bumper to Bumper customer. “Cars we’re using right now have it in there right now. My fear moving forward is there’s real-time information manufacturers are collecting through telematics that are not being shared with the independent repairers.”