Right-to-repair advocate urges Apple to let resellers bypass security protocols

2020 M1 MacBooks are making their way to recycling centers

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One independent MacBook reseller and right-to-repair advocate has scavenged Macs from a facility that destroys computers for security reasons, and wants Apple to let him disable iCloud Activation Locks.

John Bumstead has a business refurbishing and reselling used Macs via his RDKL INC repair store. Apple doesn’t make his life easy as a business owner seeking to sell used computers on the cheap.

Products that are no longer being used by businesses, schools, and the government are often given to recycling centers with strict disposal rules to protect data. These centers are often certified by the Responsible Recycling standard, referred to as R2.

Resellers like Bumstead treat these centers as a secondhand-parts gold mine, though, not without breaking some rules. In order for resellers to obtain computers or parts marked as scrap for destruction, the facility has to willingly violate their R2 certification.

It seems simple enough for unauthorized resellers like Bumstead to find shady recycling centers willing to sell him parts and computers, but there’s still an obstacle in his way. He wants Apple to make it easier for people to bypass Activation Lock on products.

This has always been an issue with products like iPhone and iPad, which are locked to an Apple ID once the user signs in. However, Macs gained Activation Lock once the T2 was introduced, and that was integrated into Apple Silicon as well.

In a story from Vice, the right-to-repair advocate argues that Apple should give users the ability to request Activation Lock to be removed from a product. However, he neglects to mention that Apple already…