Kristian Stout on Minnesota’s Right-to-Repair Law

ICLE Director of Innovation Policy Kristian Stout was quoted by Racket about Minnesota’s new right-to-repair law. You can read the full piece here.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about right-to-repair legislation. Kristian Stout is a programmer and lawyer who is the director of innovation policy at the International Center for Law & Economics. Stout loves to tinker with computers, but he’s not convinced that the right to repair makes sense for people who aren’t as technically inclined.

According to Stout, restricting repair to shops that have a special deal with a manufacturer can mean more peace of mind for consumers, because not every shop will have the resources to protect consumer data. “There’s more incentive for smaller firms to actually not invest as much in cybersecurity and data privacy,” he says.

Stout uses the example of Apple, which keeps a tight lid on its repair network in order to protect their business. “They want to make sure that consumer devices and data, specifically, are protected.” He adds that this isn’t just out of the goodness of their hearts, either—big tech companies want to protect their own brand by preventing things from going wrong with their devices.