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jTrust us. Apple's policy re: private data on dead hard drives.
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 18:43:05 -0400
Begin forwarded message:
From: "Dr. Brad J. Cox" <bradjcox () gmail com>
Date: April 19, 2006 5:06:38 PM EDT
To: dave () farber net
Subject: jTrust us. Apple's policy re: private data on dead hard drives.
I just had a 250gb disk go completely belly up on my iMac G5 (two
months out of warranty). Disk Warrior reported bad sectors and
refused to recover it I concluded I needed to replace it. Comparison
shopping showed special deals as low as $85. But having no
appetite for mesing around at the time, I took what I thought was the
gold-plated option. Ordered a DIY replacement
drive from Apple for nearly $300. And the real tale starts there....
It turns out, Apple's policy on DIY disk drives is that they insist
that the old drive be returned within 10 days, else
an additional charge of almost $200 will be charged. The same charge
applies if the drive is physically damaged
or opened, thus thwarting my first thought of how to protect my
private data... a sledgehammer.
Apple's basis for imposing such a "charge", given that the original
and replacement drives belong to me and not Apple, is one matter of
possible interest to some readers.
More interesting to me is Apple's apparent lack of interest in secure
disposal of private data on dead drives, and the lack of easy options
for computer users with a hard drive failure.
Apple's support line wasn't much help. The obvious solution,
cancelling the extra charge, wasn't accepted, nor was returning the
disk smashed (although I still question the legality of both of these
"requirements"). I gather they want them for quality control/
diagnosis purposes; apparently quite a lot because its worth $200
worth of MY money to them
As for the data, the best they could offer is "Trust us, we're
reputable", having just admitted they simply pass dead drives along
to Maxtor ("trust them, they're reputable"). And how does reputable
relate to the concern that platters from dead drives won't just end
up in a dumpster somewhere.
So.... I imagine a honking big magnet is about the only option I
left, short of the "trust us" approach. Maybe an old bulk tape
eraser. Any other suggestions out there?
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- jTrust us. Apple's policy re: private data on dead hard drives. David Farber (Apr 19)