The yes vote has it on Question 1.
The ballot measure to expand access to data on vehicular performance passed.
“The thousands of ‘Yes on 1’ signs in front of small businesses around the state tell the story —automakers were trying to corner the market on car repairs, but the voters stopped them,” said Tommy Hickey, director of the Right to Repair Coalition.
The Massachusetts Right to Repair Committee declared victory shortly after 9 p.m. on election night based on internal projections. The announcement came an hour after the polls closed and with the AP still reporting under 10% of precincts.
The Coalition for Safe and Secure Data conceded shortly after.
“As we have said from the beginning, the right to repair and the ability of local repair shops to access vehicle repair information are already enshrined in Massachusetts law. Today’s vote will do nothing to enhance that right – it will only grant real time, two-way access to your vehicle and increase risk,” the coalition said in a statement. “At no point did the Yes side provide any credible arguments as to why national auto parts chains need this information to service your vehicles.”
The question revolves around a part of the original law that supporters say lacked details: telematics data. Voting yes on Question 1 would give mechanics access to data that’s sent from car sensors about driver behavior, brake pads, crashes and other performance metrics to a cloud system maintained by automakers. The ballot question proposes requiring automakers to share the data in a mobile app in which drivers could opt to share the information with a mechanic of their choice.
“Technology has certainly evolved. I think the practice of security through obscurity has become very prevalent in all of our lives as we all look for the new technology, and that shouldn’t take away choice at the end of the day,” Hickey told MassLive Tuesday afternoon.
Voting no means the law would remain unchanged.
“I think ultimately we hope that voters understand that their right to repair is not in any danger and we’ll still be there no matter what happens with Question 1, no matter what happens in the future,” said Conor Yunits, who is representing the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data.
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