A Seattle-based law firm launched a class action lawsuit against Apple as the company has allegedly "gone too far" in how it controls the hardware platform of the iPhone, specifically due to the Error 53 message that certain device owners are seeing due to unauthorized repairs.
According to Apple, Error 53 is generated by security checks that have been put in place for the protection of users. The security checks, which were applied along with the iOS 9, determine if the iPhone still has its original internal components. If the software finds out otherwise, the smartphone is disabled from being used.
As such, repairs that are made by third-party technicians on iPhones can leave them at risk of being bricked due to Error 53.
Apple claimed that the security checks are necessary to ensure that users are protected from third-party technicians possibly replacing the Touch ID sensor of the iPhone with a fraudulent one. The Touch ID is paired up with a secure enclave that stores the fingerprint data of users, and without the security check, a fake Touch ID sensor can allow hackers to extract the sensitive data.
The Error 53 issue has been reported from at least early last year, but only recently has it caught the public's eye. This is why PVCA is moving forward with its class action lawsuit against Apple, with the legal action reviving the "right to repair" argument that has long been a problem for Apple.
Apple has made it almost impossible for users and third-party technicians to repair the company's iPhones, with the application of a variety of unauthorized repair impediments such as generous amounts of adhesive and proprietary screws. According to Apple, the company is doing such to prevent modifications being done, whether inadvertently or purposely, by third-party technicians, so that the user experience will be consistent among all iPhone units.
Darrell Cochran, the attorney that is leading PCVA's lawsuit, claims that the argument of Apple is invalid as the iPhones continue to work as they should even after undergoing the repairs.
Cochran adds that Apple should have given a warning to users regarding the security checks that were added to the iOS 9, as some users suddenly had their iPhones bricked, with no chance to avail of a warranty.
The lawsuit is seeking for $5 million in damages, replacement iPhones for the units that were bricked with the iOS 9 update and the removal of the security checks.