Secondhand MacBooks that retailed for as much as $3,000 just a couple of years ago are being sold as scrap, to be turned into parts, because recyclers have no way to login and factory reset the machines due to Apple’s Activation Lock security.
How many of you out there would like a 2-year-old M1 MacBook? Well, too bad, because your local recycler just took out all the Activation Locked logic boards and ground them up into carcinogenic dust. #righttorepair
— John Bumstead (@RDKLInc) January 17, 2023
The problem is Apple’s T2 security chip. First introduced in 2018, the laptop makes it impossible for anyone who isn’t the original owner to log into the machine. It’s a boon for security and privacy and a plague on the second hard market. “Like it has been for years with recyclers and millions of iPhones and iPads, it’s pretty much game over with MacBooks now—there’s just nothing to do about it if a device is locked,” Bumstead told Motherboard. “Even the jailbreakers/bypassers don’t have a solution, and they probably won’t because Apple proprietary chips are so relatively formidable.” When Apple released its own silicon with the M1, it integrated the features of the T2 into those computers.
“The functionality of T2 is built into Apple silicon, so it’s the same situation. But whereas T2 with activation lock is basically impossible to overcome, bypass developers are finding the m1/m2 chips with activation lock even more difficult,” Bumstead said…
Often the previous owners are corporations or schools who buy and sell the machines in bulk and aren’t interested in helping recyclers or refurbishers unlock them. “Previous owners do not return phone calls, and large corporations that dump 3000 machines assume they have been destroyed, so it is critical we have a solution that does not depend on the previous owner approving,” Bumstead said.
MacDailyNews Note: Before selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac, if you’re using macOS Monterey or later on a Mac with Apple silicon or a Mac with the Apple T2 Security Chip, use “Erase All Content and Settings” to quickly and securely erase all of your settings, data, and apps, while maintaining the operating system currently installed.
More info about what to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your Mac via Apple Support here.
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