Every month, thousands of perfectly good iPhones are shredded instead of being put into the hands of people who could really use them. Why? Two words: Activation Lock. And Macs are its next victim.
“We receive four to six thousand locked iPhones per month,” laments Peter Schindler, founder and owner of The Wireless Alliance, a Colorado-based electronics recycler and refurbisher. Those iPhones, which could easily be refurbished and put back into circulation, “have to get parted out or scrapped,” all because of this anti-theft feature.
With the release of macOS Catalina earlier this fall, any Mac that’s equipped with Apple’s new T2 security chip now comes with Activation Lock—meaning we’re about to see a lot of otherwise usable Macs heading to shredders, too.
While I understand the need for security features such as these – who doesn’t – it should definitely be possible to save these devices from the shredder. It’s such a waste of perfectly good hardware that could make a lot of less-privileged people around the world a whole lot happier.
I’m positive these can be hacked, even if it requires a hardware mode, but at what expense?
Google’s FRP does the same thing, and even as a legit owner I was locked out of my own phone because I didn’t have access to the google account (I don’t use a google account for anything, however android forces you to create one to install apps and unbeknownst to me, google simultaneously installed it’s FRP lock on my phone without my knowledge or consent) Fortunately I found a vulnerability in FRP and was able to bypass it at the time. But for a recycler, they’re not going to be able to put the time and energy into hacking phones, they’ll get tossed into the scrap pile immediately.
I’m afraid the planet’s going to hell, and these companies really don’t give a crap about the damages they’re doing. The only thing they care about is profits, which is why governments need to get involved to provide economic incentives to do a better job. Only problem is many of our government leaders don’t give a crap either and are eager to trade the long term health of our planet for short term wealth in their pockets. Mark my words, this will be the downfall of our civilization. 🙁