• Judge Dismisses ‘Error 53’ Lawsuit in Favor of Apple

    Back in February of this year, it was revealed that putting unauthorized parts inside of an iPhone, like a new Home button from third-party repair shops, would result in an “Error 53” message, which essentially locked a device.

    When the news initially broke, it didn’t take long before lawyers stepped in with efforts to jump-start a class-action lawsuit against Apple. 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 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.”
    That didn’t sit well with many people who oftentimes need to have a third-party repair shop fix their device, so the motion did indeed pick up enough steam for a class-action lawsuit to head to court. However, by the time May rolled around Apple had already released new software to fix the bricked devices, and had offered a reimbursement to those who had paid for repairs — essentially voiding the lawsuit’s intentions. Plaintiffs tried to keep the lawsuit going, though.

    Now, a US District Court judge has officially dismissed the Error 53 lawsuit altogether, ultimately in favor of Apple. The judge went through all of the plaintiff’s complaints, and said that they were all unsuitable to force the case against Apple to move forward:

    “With regard to Apple’s alleged omissions, the plaintiffs’ position seems to be 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.” But the plaintiffs haven’t plausibly alleged that Apple actually knew of this alleged risk. […]

    But the mere fact that a company has designed a product doesn’t mean it automatically knows about all of that product’s potential design flaws.”
    As it stands now, Apple seems to be out of the woods in regards to this specific lawsuit.

    [via MacRumors]
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Judge Dismisses ‘Error 53’ Lawsuit in Favor of Apple started by Caiden Spencer View original post
    Comments 29 Comments
    1. bigbaba's Avatar
      bigbaba -
      This case made no sense to me. People actually thought they had a case against apple for using aftermarket parts and not having them supported in a software update?
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      Nooooooooo!!!!!
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigbaba View Post
      This case made no sense to me. People actually thought they had a case against apple for using aftermarket parts and not having them supported in a software update?
      Yes, because manufacturer's can't take intentional step to prevent the use of third party parts. It would be like Ford saying your car's computer isn't covered because you installed a BOSE radio. Now Ford could say we won't cover your radio because you replaced it, but they can't say sorry our car computer won't work with that radio, so we will completely disable your car.
    1. iamevl's Avatar
      iamevl -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      Yes, because manufacturer's can't take intentional step to prevent the use of third party parts. It would be like Ford saying your car's computer isn't covered because you installed a BOSE radio. Now Ford could say we won't cover your radio because you replaced it, but they can't say sorry our car computer won't work with that radio, so we will completely disable your car.
      Nice try at an analogy but respectfully i disagree.
      Since the TouchID is responsible for the security and access of the device it would be less like a radio and more like using a knock off key fob to bypass the immobiliser - which would stop the car from working.
      I applaud Apple for making things like that secure since we all carry particularly sensitive information on our phones.

      IMHO the persons responsible would be those trying to get cheap fixes for accidental damage resulting in a new TouchID being needed in the first place. I know Apple is expensive for repairs, but that's what insurance and Applecare is for - Applecare would have covered damaged TouchID twice (if you damage something so expensive more than twice then you don't deserve an iPhone) and insurance should be gotten for something so expensive anyway.

      anyway, that's my tuppence
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by iamevl View Post
      insurance should be gotten for something so expensive anyway.
      I would submit that insurance of this kind (for devices like smart phones) is not for people who actually take care of their devices and would prove to be quite more expensive than just paying for a new proper part and/or proper repair service if something does happen later down the line (unavoidable accidents can happen.) Rather, it's for people who constantly end up damaging their devices every now and again or can't learn to stop putting it in their back pants pocket when going to the toilet, things of that nature.
    1. 01grander's Avatar
      01grander -
      Quote Originally Posted by bigbaba View Post
      This case made no sense to me. People actually thought they had a case against apple for using aftermarket parts and not having them supported in a software update?
      Imagine if you HAD to use a BMW alternator if you had a BMW car, nothing else would work and no other company could ever make the part. It didn't matter if they had the EXACT same specs/dimensions, you had to purchase a alternator that cost 4x the price of an average alternator. For those of us that work on our own devices, its similar, albeit more complicated. I don't know if there was a specific reason that it didn't work in this instance but this definitely restricts trade and free markets.


      It sounds like the parts were fine, it was the pairing of the sensor with the phone that was the issue. There should always be a way to fix something yourself if you understand how to do it, Apple has just created a product that cannot be modified by the owner and I think that is wrong and is just a way to create a monopoly on everything related to an iPhone except for items that aren't electrical(cases).
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by 01grander View Post
      Imagine if you HAD to use a BMW alternator if you had a BMW car, nothing else would work and no other company could ever make the part. It didn't matter if they had the EXACT same specs/dimensions, you had to purchase a alternator that cost 4x the price of an average alternator. For those of us that work on our own devices, its similar, albeit more complicated. I don't know if there was a specific reason that it didn't work in this instance but this definitely restricts trade and free markets.


      It sounds like the parts were fine, it was the pairing of the sensor with the phone that was the issue. There should always be a way to fix something yourself if you understand how to do it, Apple has just created a product that cannot be modified by the owner and I think that is wrong and is just a way to create a monopoly on everything related to an iPhone except for items that aren't electrical(cases).
      What if I could get a key fob made for YOUR BMW and unlock and start and drive YOUR car?

      Members giving examples of alternator, etc is not the same analogy as Touch ID. We are talking fingerprint sensor here.

      Keep in mind, Apple doesn't block your device if you change the battery, display, camera, etc.
    1. 01grander's Avatar
      01grander -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      What if I could get a key fob made for YOUR BMW and unlock and start and drive YOUR car?

      Members giving examples of alternator, etc is not the same analogy as Touch ID. We are talking fingerprint sensor here.

      Keep in mind, Apple doesn't block your device if you change the battery, display, camera, etc.
      Security doesn't trump everything else, I'm tired of people using that justification in all of the various aspects of society. The underlying principle still applies with the alternator, people just throw in the word security to justify their actions.

      Btw, on my jeep I could program my own smart keys, locksmiths also had tools to program keys and locks(much like the 3rd party repairers in the apple case), and I can also buy a tool off eBay now to program remotes and keys for $100-200.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by 01grander View Post
      Security doesn't trump everything else, I'm tired of people using that justification in all of the various aspects of society. The underlying principle still applies with the alternator, people just throw in the word security to justify their actions.

      Btw, on my jeep I could program my own smart keys, locksmiths also had tools to program keys and locks(much like the 3rd party repairers in the apple case), and I can also buy a tool off eBay now to program remotes and keys for $100-200.
      1. Dodge has not implemented tight security measures that's why you can program your keys or buy from eBay.

      2. Your car doesn't have your personal information so even if I steal your car, you're only down by $30k. If I steal your phone and use my Touch ID sensor, you're down your life. I'd have access to your bank account passwords, sensitive pictures (blackmailing issues), all kinds of things. You can't really compare a car to your phone.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      What if I could get a key fob made for YOUR BMW and unlock and start and drive YOUR car?

      Members giving examples of alternator, etc is not the same analogy as Touch ID. We are talking fingerprint sensor here.

      Keep in mind, Apple doesn't block your device if you change the battery, display, camera, etc.
      You can't really compare a key fob to a part that is embedded in the device, like the home-button/fingerprint-scanner. The former is a wireless device that actually contains some security info that could be compromised if you lost it, while the former is part of the device itself and it's just going to get lost and also the actual security information is stored within the device, and not the scanner part.

      Thus, there isn't any good reason to completely lock down the entire device. If anything at all, only that feature should be rendered unusable.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      2. Your car doesn't have your personal information
      I've seen cars with "infotainment" centers that can actually store such information in the same way phones, tablets, and even those electronic organizers that have been around since 1990s can. And some of these cars have cellular data connections now too.

      If I steal your phone and use my Touch ID sensor, you're down your life. I'd have access to your bank account passwords, sensitive pictures (blackmailing issues), all kinds of things. You can't really compare a car to your phone.
      Last I checked, the security information isn't actually stored in the home-button/sensor component, but in the phone's software, so unless someone can somehow creates a scanner component that can capture fingerprints and send them out to some server, I don't see getting a third party one from a reputable source to be as big an issue as it's being made out to be.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by szr View Post
      You can't really compare a key fob to a part that is embedded in the device, like the home-button/fingerprint-scanner. The former is a wireless device that actually contains some security info that could be compromised if you lost it, while the former is part of the device itself and it's just going to get lost and also the actual security information is stored within the device, and not the scanner part.

      Thus, there isn't any good reason to completely lock down the entire device. If anything at all, only that feature should be rendered unusable.
      Yes I can. Key fob unlocks your car just like a Touch ID unlocks your phone.
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      Yes I can. Key fob unlocks your car just like a Touch ID unlocks your phone.
      But your car contains no security info about you. Surely you can see that, right? They're very different things. Not ever remotely analagous.
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      When that aftermarket alternator causes you BMW to catch on fire, then see if BMW will do something for you.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      Yes I can. Key fob unlocks your car just like a Touch ID unlocks your phone.
      It's still not the same. The keyfob actually contains the security data (the "key" signal that it broadcasts to the car) required communicate with the car.

      The homebutton/finger-print sensor itself does not actually contain any such data from what I've read of it before. The actual fingerprint and encryption data, et al, is stored within the phone itself.
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Quote Originally Posted by szr View Post
      It's still not the same. The keyfob actually contains the security data (the "key" signal that it broadcasts to the car) required communicate with the car.

      The homebutton/finger-print sensor itself does not actually contain any such data from what I've read of it before. The actual fingerprint and encryption data, et al, is stored within the phone itself.
      When you press the button on the fob, it communicates with a module inside the car. It's the exact same thing as a Touch ID communicating with the module inside the phone.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      When you press the button on the fob, it communicates with a module inside the car. It's the exact same thing as a Touch ID communicating with the module inside the phone.
      No it's not the same. The keyfob isn't only communicating with the module in the car, it's communicating using some sort of encryption and specific signal, similar to a garage dor opener fob too. Therefore it contains security data in the fob that can be used to compromise the greater system (car in this case.)

      To contrast, the home-button/sensor component itself knows nothing about your fingerprint, only the phone's internal system does. The home-button/sensor is a component that's directly connected to the phone's circuitry.

      In other words, it's more like the lock/unlock on the inside of your car's door, or the hard-wired button inside your garage, which don't know any codes/encryption type info themselves, but merely interface directly with the system via a cable or other direct connection.

      So no, it's not the same thing.
    1. WHUDS's Avatar
      WHUDS -
      Quote Originally Posted by vinaygoel2000 View Post
      When you press the button on the fob, it communicates with a module inside the car. It's the exact same thing as a Touch ID communicating with the module inside the phone.
      Two parts to touch ID the sensor and software, the software does all the "thinking" the sensor reads and sends info to the software to use. Its that simple


      Personally I hate any company like apple that does not allow me to use my device as I see fit, I bought it its mine
    1. NewD's Avatar
      NewD -
      Quote Originally Posted by WHUDS View Post
      Personally I hate any company like apple that does not allow me to use my device as I see fit, I bought it its mine
      Only if you paid full retail at the start, or are finished with your monthly payments, or are at the end of your contract period - do you OWN your phone. I'm assuming one of those is true for you.

      But even as an owner of the hardware (which I agree with you - do as you please with the hardware) you are still only a "lease-er" of the iOS - clearly spelled out in the user agreement. You never own it. That's why those of us who love jail breaking don't really have an argument to say "I should be able to do whatever I want with the firmware since I bought it."... Uhhh. No you didn't.. [emoji6]
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by NewD View Post
      But even as an owner of the hardware (which I agree with you - do as you please with the hardware) you are still only a "lease-er" of the iOS - clearly spelled out in the user agreement. You never own it.
      This is a big misconception. True, end users do not own the original work which constitutes the intellectual property. One, however, does own the copy in one's possession. You are not leasing that copy from anyone. That particular copy that is on your phone is yours and you can modify that copy, hence why one can jail-break / root smart phones, or why people have always been able to modify their desktop and laptop operating systems. There is a lot of disinformation on this subject so it never surprised me that people often make this mistake.
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