YANG on the Hill
Mark Murphy, ASE master technician, Dynamic Automotive in Urbana, Md., participated in the 2016 YANG Legislative Conference, June 13-14 on Capitol Hill. Attendees traveled from all parts of the country to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress to express their views on issues facing the auto care industry, including the possible impact of telematics on today’s modern vehicles and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The big question still remains. Who owns the data? Is it the owner of the vehicle or the manufacturer? Telematics has the potential to provide significant benefits to the driver regarding how
their vehicle is serviced. Not allowing the owner of the vehicle the ability to determine who receives their vehicle data can give the manufacturers an unfair advantage in the market. Manufacturers have used the Digital Copyright Act to limit and even deny service facilities the vehicle data, arguing it was to protect the copyright of the software. It is believed their intention was not only to protect the copyright, but to thaw competition from these service centers. With the advancement of today’s vehicles that use software to operate every facet of the vehicle, the old copyright law is obsolete and in need of updating, so that manufacturers cannot hide behind it.
On the first day of the 2016 YANG Legislative Conference, participants assembled at the Auto Care Associations headquarters for introductions, followed by a presentation by Chris Blalock, Dorman Products. Blalock was able to get everyone up to speed on telematics and its effects on the future of their industry. Next, Sheree Anne Kelly from the Public Affairs Council explained what to expect when meeting with politicians and their staff. Her advice was to keep ideas clear to better get the message across. After a quick educational presentation, the group was broken up to role play with Auto Care Association staff to prepare for the next day’s meetings.
Day two was a fast-paced day that got started early. Twenty-six YANG members attended a total of 45 meetings with members of Congress that represented 14 states. Congressmen Scott Perry from Pennsylvania 4th district was the first visit. He expressed how important it was to bring up issues like telematics and vehicle data ownership to their representatives so they understand who the stakeholders are. Representative Perry was very knowledgeable about the issues because he has previously been a part of the Auto Care Caucus.
Mark attended three more meetings in which he spoke with staff of Representative John Sarbanes (MD-3), Representative John Delaney (MD-6), and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). “Everyone was very receptive to our ideas and concerns,” said Mark. “Most had no clue about the impact these issues had on my job as an automotive technician or the industry as a whole. I feel they were open minded and willing to use the information they received from us in the decisions they make in future legislation.”
“It was a great experience. It’s not every day you get to go to Capitol Hill to meet your representatives in the U.S. government and talk to them about what can cause hardships. I met some very knowledgeable people and this showed me how vast the automotive aftermarket industry is. I am thankful that I was asked to go and I would go again!”
Everyone felt that this year’s event was a success at bringing awareness to our politicians about our concerns for the industry. This was the first year YANG joined the staff from the Auto Care Association and this combination seems to have been a smashing success.
The Auto Care Association is the voice of the over $300 billion auto care industry which is a coast-to-coast network of 500,000 independent manufactures, distributors, parts stores and repair shops. The association provides advocacy, educational, networking, technology, market intelligence and communications resources to serve the collective interests of our members. Visit the Auto Care website to learn more www.autocare.org
The Young Auto Care Network Group was formed in January 2014 with a desire to help young professionals establish a circle of peers to grow with alongside their careers. YANG participants are future executive level staffers of the auto care industry that see the value in establishing connections with other young professionals that will one day be business owners and key decision makers. http://www.autocare.org/What-We-Do/Professional-Development/young-auto-care-network-group/
If you are under 40 and part of the industry think about joining YANG http://www.autocare.org/What-We-Do/Professional-Development/YANG/YANG-membership-application/