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Right-to-repair scores a win in Massachusetts to provide vehicle data

Voters gave the green light to allow third parties access to all sorts of vehicle data previously locked away.

Car repair
Natnan Srisuwan/Getty Images

Election Day in Massachusetts brought a victory for right-to-repair supporters as voters passed Question 1 in the state, which gives third parties access to all sorts of vehicle data that was previously untouchable under the law. Opponents shook their heads and warned of privacy invasion, while those in favor celebrated what they think is a big win for future tools and technology.

The goal of the new regulation is to give independent shops a level playing field with dealerships' service centers. Should something go wrong on with systems affected by this data, car owners would have to take it to a dealer. Now any shop can access the data, which proponents believe gives owners more freedom to take their car anywhere they'd like, or simply tackle a job on their own.

In the opposite corner, automakers heavily opposed the new rule and argued the data includes sensitive information that third parties could use in nefarious ways. Even things such as where and when a person drives is up for grabs with the information available to others.

The new rule does not go into effect until 2022, so any cars produced before then won't need to abide by the regulation. However, in two years, the immense amount of data will be open to anyone who wants to access it.

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