Judge Dismisses ‘Error 53’ Lawsuit in Favor of Apple

A United States district court judge has tossed so-called ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple out of the window on grounds that the plaintiffs “lack standing to pursue injunctive relief”. The plaintiffs argued that the iOS 9 software update causing certain devices with a faulty Touch ID or Home button, like the iPhone 6, to be bricked has resulted in permanent data loss.

The plaintiffs wrote in their complaint that Apple should have disclosed that their devices “would be destroyed by imbedded features if they had repaired devices using an independent service and then updated to certain iOS versions.”

At the time, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple’s focus on security is what caused the error, making it so that someone couldn’t simply replace the Home button on an iPhone and gain access to its secure contents:
“We protect fingerprint data using a secure enclave, which is uniquely paired to the touch ID sensor. When iPhone is serviced by an authorised 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.”
The plaintiffs position is that Apple’s policy was forcing people to service their handset in Apple Stores, which charge a premium for replacing faulty Home buttons. However, the company soon after issued another software update which let people restore their bricked devices through iTunes, and apologized for inconveniencing users.

Originally, the Cupertino firm explained that the iPhone requires its Home button to be paired to a specific Touch ID sensor and cables that must have specific hardware-encoded serial numbers.

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