UK iPhone owner demands compensation claiming Apple ‘wiped away his life’

“A London man will meet Apple in court to argue the company ‘wiped away his life,’ after taking a faulty iPhone into an Apple Store, where the device was reset and the contents erase,” Andy Boxall reports for Digital Trends. “”

“Deric White, 68, spoke to The Sun newspaper in the U.K., saying he is demanding £5,000 (that’s just over $7,500) compensation from Apple, due to the lose of photos and contacts,” Boxall reports. “White went into more detail, telling The Sun, ‘My life was saved on that phone,’ describing photos and video saved from his honeymoon, including his, ‘favorite video of a giant tortoise biting my hand on honeymoon in the Seychelles.’ He also states the phone contained 15 years worth of collected contacts.”

Boxall reports, “Tt must be assumed from the fuss that White did not have a backup stored on his computer, iCloud, or another service.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you do not back up your iPhone or any other device, you have only yourself to blame for data loss. What if White had simply lost his iPhone someday? Obviously he was risking his precious data every single day.

That said, given the level of some people’s intellects, perhaps Apple should back up every iPhone they take in for repair (with the user’s explicit permission), expecting such instances to occur with frightening regularity.


      1. Lost? “Apple should have Find A Phone on rather I want it or not”

        Damaged? “Apple should make them tougher or supply me a case”

        Stolen? “Apple shouldn’t make them so darn desirable”

        So, yes, personal stupidity is always someone else’s fault….

  1. Agree with MDN. Back up your stuff, no exceptions..

    All “tech support” places are horrible for the “wipe/reinstall cures everything” mentality, not just Apple.
    Although the last time my mom took her iPhone 6 into Apple they DID want to perform an iCloud backup first.

    Wait.. When you schedule an appointment with the Genius Bar one of the things they tell you to do prior to coming in is to perform a backup. This guy has no case.

    1. Unfortunately, the “backup and restore” does not work like most people think.

      If you buy a new iPhone then restore from the backup of your previous phone (from an encrypted backup on your Mac), then the restore actually does restore almost everything. (It does not restore such things as the TouchID fingerprint hashes in the secure enclave.)

      If you do a full factory reset on your iPhone then restore from an encrypted backup, there are many things it does not restore besides the TouchID related items, e.g., any digital certificates or configuration profiles.

      Why the difference? Apple seems to not be able to explain it. It just is.

      AND, many, many of the support people do not know the difference. Further, virtually none can tell you what will get restored and what will not.

      So… If you fully back up your iPhone (even using an encrypted backup to your Mac which is supposedly the most complete backup) take your iPhone into an Apple store, you may not be able to restore everything when you get back to your Mac.

      Personally, I think this guy was foolish to not back up his device (either to a local machine or to iCloud), but the Apple store personnel should have made him aware that unless he had a very recent, full backup that he would lose everything.

      Not doing the backup is on this guy. Not warning him is on Apple. Not being able to restore everything possible is on Apple.

      1. Apple DOES warn, even though its by now pretty much dogma – back up your shit!

        And yes, some esoteric items are not backed up, even in an encrypted backup, but photos and contacts? Come on… they are backed up.

        Photos can be dumped anywhere, anytime you have a connection to a Mac or Windows machine.

        Contacts are definitely backed up if you simply create an iCloud account.

        Case dismissed.



      2. I’m pretty sure that when you schedule an appointment with the Genius bar thats in the instructions.
        I’ve only made 1 appointment, and it dealt with a warranty issue on my iMac, so I am just assuming everyone gets the same standard instructions.

        My mom went in with her iPhone a few months ago and because she didn’t back it up prior to coming down to the store they did offer to let her back it up in store via iCloud. So also pretty sure they ask you if you have backed up the device.

        I understand passwords etc will not be backed up, Apple is just trying to make sure its the correct user restoring the data to their device.. and not someone who stole your mac and finds a recent iPhone backup..
        Can you imagine the bad PR Apple would have?

      3. False. An iCloud backup doesn’t cover everything, but an iTunes backup on your computer saves everything (except TouchID, because that’s uniquely saved in each device’s secure enclave.) I’ve used this method several times.

    2. Last time I went into the Apple store, they said I should back up the phone before servicing.

      A think a LOT more people would backup their phones if iCloud wasn’t a ridiculously paltry 5GB. Apple has done the math and has figured out that in order to get 40% profit margin on the backup service, they need to set it low enough so that enough will pay for the service.

      Same thing with 16GB iPhones. It’s pure profit margin… and frankly, it stinks. What happened to the $1000 computer for everybody philosophy of Apple?

      What happened to successive computers/devices/iPods getting LOWER in price, or HIGHER in value each year. The original iPod was 5GB…. the last iPod classic was 160GB and cheaper.

    1. Non-technies never think of that. Just last week I had to help a friend back up almost a year and 3 GB’s worth of photos and videos from her iPhone to her computer.

  2. “Apple should back up every iPhone they take in for repair, expecting such instances to occur.”

    No, no, no — Apple absolutely should not do this! The privacy and security of customer data should be the customer’s responsibility regardless of how strong Apple’s policies are.

  3. Apple support is not what it used to be. I have been working with Apple support for over 2 months now trying to fix issues with my AppleId across my Apple devices. There is no visible pride with the support staff.

    I can well believe the Apple support made a mistake. Of course as MDN says, the owner should have backed things up. However, why the staff did not inform the owner? How difficult would it be to ask iCloud if the given iPhone was getting backed up or not? Why is Apple not proactively doing this? Lack of pride, that is why.

  4. Whilst not meaning to be ageist, there are many of his generation that use new technology without the faintest idea of how it worls. Apple’s dilemma is that their technology is the easiest to just pick up and use.

  5. One of my Apple tech support clients had never done any backs and after a lot of nagging, I persuaded him to at least get an external hard drive and run Time Machine regularly.

    About a week after starting doing that, somebody stole his MacBook from his car. He asked me what to do and I told hime to get a similar MacBook and we can restore all his data to it, so he was obviously delighted.

    However he actually went and bought a MacBook Air, so I was somewhat apprehensive about how well it would restore to a different model of Mac, but I shouldn’t have been so pessimistic. Everything went onto it just like a dream while we chatted and had a bite to eat and he was astonished when it restarted and came up with his custom desktop screen, with all the icons in the places where he usually had them. His initial reaction was that it was exactly his computer, but on a different computer. He couldn’t believe that everything was done automatically without any user intervention.

    Needless to say, he’s now sold on the concept of back-ups and does them very conscientiously.

  6. US readers need to understand that the Sun newspaper reporting this case is the most sensationalist heap of rubbish ever printed. No other UK paper is bothering to report it as clearly the person bringing this case is an utter dickhead. Hopefully the court will throw it out with the disdain it deserves. As an aside, it’s very worrying that some people still exist who buy the technology but don’t have a clue of how to back it up. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I thought iCloud defaults were on when you set a device up in the first place.

  7. It’s another friggen’ victim. Everybody is victim today. They are taught to be victims. Spoiled, whiny college students are victims. People who never worked a day in their life are victims. The only people who aren’t victims are the people who work hard to earn a living every day — but they are “privileged.”

  8. Certainly Apple shouldn’t just presume that it is all backed up, thats surely as dumb as the guy himself. Also begs if they accidentally deleted it all having implied that would not happen, or warned him what they were doing might cause that to happen or not. they certainly should have asked if it were all backed up and responded accordingly. I suspect the whole case would revolve around that area of debate, whatever the stupidity of the owner.

  9. This guy sounds likes moron, if your precious data is not backed up in 3 different places it basically doesn’t exist. Having said that up until around 4 years ago I was very complacent with data on my Apple gear, generally not bothering to back up for maybe 6 months, Apple devices were so incredibly reliable. I wouldn’t risk more than a week these days. Apple has got much bigger and generally (from my experience) the reliability of its software has gone south. Apple is still great in my eyes just not what it was.

  10. Why would ANY Genius fixing an iPhone that requires resetting not inquire if the phone had been backed up and not just assume it had? Especially knowing the consequences where no backup had been made. Pretty sloppy. And iTunes backups don’t always backup everything. Frankly I’ve never completely trusted Apple backups or services like Photos. As a result I’ve never been screwed like this poor devil.

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