SIA to Testify Against Vermont Right to Repair Bill

Montpellier, VT—SIA Government Relations Manager Joe Hoellerer will appear before the Vermont Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 7, as a witness in opposition to S. 180, the Vermont Fair Repair Act.

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has concerns that requirements in the legislation would harm companies in the security industry, where SIA represents more than 800 corporate members, many of them manufacturers. The bill would force original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to disclose proprietary source code, diagnostic and repair information to independent repair providers, potentially jeopardizing the security and cybersecurity of certain equipment and voiding related warranties proven to benefit and protect consumers, Hoellerer said in testimony submitted today to State Sen. Michael Sirotkin and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

“We understand the intention of this legislation is to provide consumers with the freedom and flexibility to fix everyday consumer devices, such as smartphones, tablets, televisions and computers. However, due to the overly broad and vague definition of ‘equipment,’ which seemingly encompasses all digital electronic equipment, our member companies would be forced to comply with this burdensome legislation if enacted into law,” Hoellerer said.

Traditional manufacturers in the security industry build video cameras, carbon monoxide detectors, fire alarms, advanced locks and other critical equipment. Should they disclose proprietary diagnostic and reparation information, manufacturers would have no choice but to place the integrity of their security equipment into the hands of individuals who do not have the requisite skills to fix defects in such highly specialized equipment.

In one scenario, Hoellerer raised the possibility that an independent repair provider might fix a home security system. What happens when a house is then burglarized? The Vermont legislation does not address who would be liable for damages in this case, whether the OEM or an independent repair provider who may have failed to fully fix the problem.

“Malfunctions can cause real, physical harm. We must enable manufacturers to ensure the efficacy and integrity of their products,” Hoellerer said. “By placing intricate repair information into the possession of uncertified independent repair providers, S. 180 is in fact, exposing consumers to more potential risk.”

SIA seeks a collaborative resolution where the Vermont General Assembly works with the private sector to address any concerns.

Hoellerer and other SIA experts are available for interviews on the Vermont bill and similar efforts around the nation.

About the Security Industry Association

The Security Industry Association (SIA) (http://www.securityindustry.org) is the leading trade association for global security solution providers, with more than 800 innovative member companies representing thousands of security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities. SIA also enhances the position of its members in the security marketplace through SIA Government Summit, which brings together private industry with government decision makers, and Securing New Ground®, the security industry’s top executive conference for peer-to-peer networking.

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