Matt Springfield (formerly of I-Net Solutions, those were the days) posted about a problem he is having with his Apple Time Capsule, and what happens to the data when they blow up.  In his situation, a bad power supply prematurely ended the life of his device.  When he asked an Apple representative what they do with the old hard drive contained inside the device, she responded that there was no data destruction policy.

Another Broken HDD, by mercuryvapour

No data destruction policy?  Wow, there must be some fun stuff in old equipment at Apple.

For the record, I’m a Mac user.  The first computers I used were early generation Macs (think System 6), and then I switched to a PC for a while in college.  All throughout this, I was learning and loving Unix.  I like to think that I “grew up” on Unix, thus my affection for OS X.  I had thought about getting a MacBook Pro for some time, but it was not until 2007 when I visited the Apple campus that I decided it was time.

I’ve never looked back.

In 2008 I converted my entire house to the Mac platform (over time), and we all have a great set of computers that just plain work.  Sure, every one has its issues.  For example, my family’s iMac has a problem with the power button that I need to go get fixed.  Engineering issue (both on its placement and use), but hopefully with a week in the shop it will be returned to me, good as new.

I’ve been lucky so far.  I have not had to take a malfunctioning computer to the Genius Bar for repair.  Our iMac will be the first.  Regardless, any time you take your computer and hand it over for repair or replacement, you are giving away your data.  This is much more of an issue with Apple because they offer to move your data for free right there at the store.  The bliss of computing that works for me can quickly be overridden by the fear of my data being disclosed.

Matt rightly points out that the data on his Time Capsule belongs to him, and Apple should take the time to electronically destroy the data before refurbishing the drive and putting it into another customer’s hands.  Matt took matters into his own hands and destroyed the data prior to handing the device back over for replacement.  He shouldn’t have to do that, but it raises an interesting point that will need to be addressed in the near future.  End users like to have their data protected too.  Even when it is not sitting on a banking server somewhere in the ether.

This post originally appeared on

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