Class-Action Suit Filed Over iPhone Error 53

Class-Action Suit Filed Over iPhone Error 53

If you’re an iPhone owner, chances are that you’ve recently heard of the terrifying Error 53, which turns iPhones with damaged or replaced TouchID sensors into your newest, albeit expensive, paperweight. This week, a Seattle law firm filed a class action suit in California against Apple, claiming that keeping a device with a malfunctioning touch sensor from working is “abusive” to iPhone owners. The complaint cites that “more than 62 million units” are affected by the issue.

The Dreaded Boot Loop

The suit also asserts that Apple never warned iPhone owners that they could have issues with their device if the TouchID sensor was damaged or replaced by third-party repair shops. Many users stumbled upon Error 53 after having their touch sensor replaced and trying to install updates. iFixit, the hardware repair site famous for their “teardowns” of the latest Apple hardware, has covered Error 53 extensively. When the touch sensor in an iPhone 6 is replaced by anyone other than Apple, software updates will fail without an error code. When you then try to connect to iTunes to restore or install updates, your iPhone will start an infinite booting loop that only an Apple Authorized Service Center can take it out of.

Implemented for Security

Error 53 was created with good intention. Every iPhone with the TouchID fingerprint sensor is paired to the sensor that it ships with. Because mobile banking and payment apps now use TouchID as identity verification, Error 53 prevents would-be criminals from replacing the TouchID sensor with a different sensor and gaining access to sensitive personal information. Error 53 is really a security measure, but after the headaches it’s created for affected users, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.

The suit has not yet received class-action status from a judge. We will continue to update the story with any developments.


About The Author

Robert Schaeffer is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, where he covers the technology industry as a whole. He started with the network in 2008 as the Director of Design and a co-host of the weekly radio show, Tech Talk Live.

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