Leaked MacBook Schematics Bring New Opportunities For Right To Repair Backers
Right to repair arguments often fall on deaf ears, especially at companies like Apple that are tight-lipped and only allow certain people to [officially] repair its products. What if Apple's hands were forced, though, and nearly anyone could look at device's schematics? We may find out shortly as hackers have leaked some files about Apple products, and repair shops are taking advantage of this, legality aside.
In late April, Apple supplier Quanta was hit with a $50 million ransomware attack carried out by hacker group REvil. Apple schematics were stolen and leaked when Quanta refused to pay the exorbitant fee. These schematics included a future line of MacBook devices and likely much more that we have not heard of yet. While this data was not useful for reverse engineering anything, it could be useful for repairing Apple devices.
Louis Rossmann, the owner of the Rossman Repair Group, explained that his "business relies on stuff like this leaking." This leak of schematics will help him to "recover someone's data. Someone is going to get their data back today because of this." This is because it can be incredibly difficult to do repairs on Apple devices when the company keeps things behind lock and key for the most part. Simple repairs like screen or battery replacements can be easy, but the task gets more difficult for board-level issues.
Though the reward for helping someone recover files can be immense, it is also illegal to share these leaked documents. Of course, right to repair advocates believe that this should not be illegal as there should not be secrets in the first place, but that does not change the law as it stands.
Barring the legality, right to repair, and using leaked schematics brings up an interesting problem and discussion. At one point, repairing products was preferred and almost expected over replacing them, but that is not the case. If you break a phone, it is as easy as saying "I will just get a new one" rather than repairing it. Perhaps that speaks to the society we live in or just the way things have changed. Either way, let us know what you think in the comments below.