“Apple has come under pressure to scrap its controversial policy of permanently disabling repaired iPhone 6s when software is upgraded, following a global consumer backlash and claims the company could be acting illegally,” Miles Brignall reports for The Guardian. “At least one firm of US lawyers said it hopes to bring a class action against the technology giant on behalf of victims whose £500 phones have been rendered worthless by an Apple software upgrade.”
“The Guardian revealed on Friday how thousands of iPhone 6 users found an iOS software upgrade permanently disabled their phone, which was left displaying an ‘Error 53’ code. Nothing could be done to restore it to working order,” Brignall reports. “The Apple iOS 9 software update which it launched last autumn will, in the jargon, ‘brick’ the handset if it detects that the touch ID fingerprint recognition and/or the home button is not the original.”
“Within hours of publication of the Guardian story, the Seattle-based law firm PCVA called for victims to get in touch, with a view to bringing a class action suit,” Brignall reports. “Apple has so far declined to comment other than a revised statement issued on Saturday saying: ‘This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: This is a security issue.
Apple’s previous statement regarding the matter:
We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorized Apple service provider or Apple retail store for changes that affect the touch ID sensor, the pairing is re-validated. This check ensures the device and the iOS features related to touch ID remain secure. Without this unique pairing, a malicious touch ID sensor could be substituted, thereby gaining access to the secure enclave. When iOS detects that the pairing fails, touch ID, including Apple Pay, is disabled so the device remains secure. When an iPhone is serviced by an unauthorised repair provider, faulty screens or other invalid components that affect the touch ID sensor could cause the check to fail if the pairing cannot be validated. With a subsequent update or restore, additional security checks result in an “error 53” being displayed… If a customer encounters an unrecoverable error 53, we recommend contacting Apple support.
‘Error 53’ fury mounts as Apple software update kills some iPhones ‘fixed’ by non-Apple repair shops – February 5, 2016