Should the Activation Lock be disabled to prevent the destruction of perfectly working MacBooks?

Just_Me_D

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Jan 8, 2012
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I have been reading articles on a few sites in which a big deal is being made about dealers having to destroy perfectly working MacBooks because of the Activation Lock feature. Some are claiming it’s a waste and Apple should do something about it.

Am I missing something? If a majority of the devices were stolen, why would I want Apple to unlock them for someone else to use? Heck no!
If my MacBook was stolen then I don’t want the thief or anyone else to use it. Ever!

What are your thoughts about it?
 
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EdwinG

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Your assessment is fully correct.

Activation Lock is also what allows me, as an ICT professional, to confirm that a stolen device’s data cannot be recovered, because to reach that screen, the encryption key must have been nuked one way or another.

My procedures (personal and professional, they don’t change) for retiring a device, regardless of type, involve erasing all the drives per the Canadian government standards (e.g. RCMP OPS-II), then installing the currently shipping OS onto the device from vendor media (or the original operating system if the licensing terms requires me to). This requires removing all possible locks from the device. I do not initialize the operating system, so that the ecycling centre can do so themselves and do whatever they need to do to allow reuse.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows about that theft prevention feature and this time around, I would argue it’s not Apple’s responsibility to address this. It’s on the device’s previous owner(s).
 

Up_And_Away

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I have been reading articles on a few sites in which a big deal is being made about dealers having to destroy perfectly working MacBooks because of the Activation Lock feature. Some are claiming it’s a waste and Apple should do something about it.

Am I missing something? If a majority of the devices were stolen, why would I want Apple to unlock them for someone else to use? Heck no!
If my MacBook was stolen then I don’t want the thief or anyone else to use it. Ever!

What are your thoughts about it?

Agreed, Activation lock should be kept in full force, full stop. I, like some on here (I believe), consider the Apple ecosystem’s extremely easy to use ‘anti unauthorized user(theft)’ to be one of the reasons to buy into the Apple ecosystem. There isn’t a combination of easier to use but highly effective system like Activation Lock/FindMy/remote erase.
On Apple’s side, Maybe have on the original packaging sleeve “Activation Lock/FindMy is enabled by default. If you sell or donate this MacBook, you must first use Erase All Content and Settings. This will erase your data and activation lock/FindMy association. FINDMY DISASSOCIATION IS REQUIRED for a potential new owner of the MacBook to be able to use the device.
Maybe provide org administrators an auto generated email (after 2 or 3 years)that alerts ‘MacBook ABC has not checked in with FindMy in 4 months. If this MacBook is slated for reselling or donating, please make sure to run the erase device and setting option. DISASSOCIATION IS REQUIRED for a potential new owner of the MacBook to be able to use the device. (Put on there an ad for free month of Apple Fitness to get their attention:)).

Imho the idea of just throwing away these MacBooks is endemic of lax orgs/corps. Even under irretrievable activation lock, there’s profit in big recyclable numbers. Stop trying to be “green” on paper, make the effort to find or even assist the recycling. But not just recycling, how about the fairly small time to simply use the erase the Device function to make it sellable.
 
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