A Note about Right to Repair, Question 1 on the Massachusetts November ballot, and the Little Guy


Question 1 on November’s ballot, called the “Right to Repair” question, is misnamed — it is actually about data control and who has access to the data our cars transmit wirelessly. We have called for federal regulators and Congress to investigate the practice of collecting and using “telematic data” —  and more importantly ensuring consumers have the ultimate decision in the collection, use and control of any of the data collected from their cars (or anything else). This ballot question makes that charge more urgent. 

We care about the right to repair and we will continue to advocate for consumers’ ability to have the tools and information they need to repair their own things.  We also care about consumer data rights, and insofar as Question 1 gives consumers the very limited ability to read or share wireless data from their cars, we recommend a yes vote. But this measure isn’t about Right to Repair, and the tens of millions of dollars being spent on the question by both corporate opponents and proponents should disabuse any voter of the notion that this is being fought for, or against, by the little guys. 

For more on our Right to Repair program, please go to MASSPIRG’s page at https://bit.ly/34UfQnc


Janet Domenitz

Executive Director, MASSPIRG

Janet has been the executive director of MASSPIRG since 1990 and directs programs on consumer protection, zero waste, health and safety, public transportation, and voter participation. Janet has co-founded or led coalitions, including Earth Day Greater Boston, Campaign to Update the Bottle Bill and the Election Modernization Coalition. On behalf of MASSPIRG, Janet was one of the founding members of Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA), a statewide coalition of organizations advocating investment in mass transit to curb climate change, improve public health and address equity. Janet serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Consumer Federation of America and serves on the Common Cause Massachusetts executive committee, Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow board of directors, and Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Advisory Committee. For her work, Janet has received Common Cause’s John Gardner Award and Salem State University’s Friend of the Earth Award. Janet lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons, and every Wednesday morning she slow-runs the steps at Harvard Stadium with the November Project.

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