The EU wants to impose on phone manufacturers a period of 5 years for security updates, 3 years for OS updates and a supply of spare parts over 5 years


EU regulators suggest that phone manufacturers ensure at least 5 years of security updates, 3 years of operating system updates for their devices and supply of spare parts for a minimum of 5 years. In September of the previous year, in connection with negotiations with the European Commission, Germany had requested 7 years of security updates and the supply of spare parts. Observers are of the opinion that there is better to do on the software part: to oblige the manufacturers to do all the necessary and sufficient elements to allow a third party (company or community) to ensure another software life of the product.

If implemented, these rules could change the way Android OEMs manage software support for their devices. Samsung and Google are the only brands that promise five years of security updates for their phones. Despite this, not all of their devices have these benefits. Samsung also releases four major Android updates for its high-end devices, the longest in the Android sphere. In comparison, Google and other brands deliver three or fewer major OS updates to some devices.

The draft regulations also state that a device’s battery capacity must not degrade following an operating system software update or firmware update when measured by the same test standard originally used for the declaration of conformity. It also clarifies that rejecting the update should not result in any performance changes, except for third-party application software.

The project notes that devices are often replaced prematurely by users and not sufficiently reused or recycled at the end of their life, resulting in a waste of resources.

The settlement is aimed at companies that will have to offer longer updates not only to their flagship phones, but also to high-end and budget devices that typically don’t get long-term update commitments from manufacturers. .

However, the proposed regulation fails to suggest that manufacturers provide the necessary elements to ensure that the product has a software life beyond the support period required by the regulator. From the moment the manufacturer/retailer decides to no longer provide functional (or at least security) updates, he should be obliged to publish all necessary and sufficient elements to allow a third party (company or community) to secure another software lifetime.

This involves the provision of the source code of the hardware drivers, exchange protocols and the specifications of the processing carried out locally on the product (especially photographic) commercialization of certain telephones with difficulties, however, in ensuring the operation of certain peripheral devices (camera, GPS, network chip, etc.) due to missing specifications. From the moment a manufacturer abandons the software monitoring of a product, it should be obliged to make available, at no extra cost, all the information that enables any competent third party to take over the monitoring.

This principle should also be extended to any connected object: when the product is no longer followed, the complete specifications of the interaction with the product must be provided so that a third party can offer continuity of service. Furthermore, every connected object should have a fully specified local network control interface that allows the use of all the object’s functionalities except for the processing/computations performed on a remote server. This local interface should nevertheless make it possible to collect all the records that the object sends to the possible remote service and to send the object all the data that the remote service is likely to send to the object. A third party could thus develop a similar service by producing its own algorithm. These provisions will expand the display of these objects (including phones) while protecting all algorithms used on remote servers

The European Commission is currently collecting comments on the draft rules and this aspect is among the suggestions it could take into account.

Source: EU

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Also see:

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