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Apple supports the reuse of biometric sensors, simplifying the repair process

Apple supports the reuse of biometric sensors, simplifying the repair process
 

Apple has announced its repair options, addressing concerns voiced by right-to-repair advocates. The tech giant has revealed that it will now offer used genuine parts as part of its repair process. This new process involves calibrating the parts on-device after installation, ensuring that they meet the original factory specifications and function correctly.

Apple highlights that this repair process will extend the longevity of their products by providing access to genuine parts, even if they are pre-owned. Additionally, the company hopes to reduce its environmental impact by decreasing the need for new parts production.

“With this latest expansion to our repair program, we’re excited to be adding even more choice and convenience for our customers, while helping to extend the life of our products and their parts,” says John Ternus, senior vice president of Hardware Engineering at Apple.

Upon its launch, repair options will be limited to the iPhone 15 series and will be available for both supply and receiving ends. The battery, display, and camera have been added to the list of components requiring calibration. While Face ID won’t be available immediately, it will be included in future updates.

Apple has always maintained that part pairing guarantees users’ safety, security, and privacy by preventing the use of unknown parts in their devices. The company has emphasized that third-party biometric sensors can lead to unauthorized access to personal data without part pairing.

Ternus told TechCrunch, “I think it’s led people to believe that we somehow block third-party parts from working, which we don’t. The way we look at it is, we need to know what part is in the device, for a few reasons. One, we need to authenticate that it’s a real Apple biometric device and that it hasn’t been spoofed or something like that. … Calibration is the other one.”

Apple says that the repair process will become simpler, eliminating the need for customers and service providers to provide a device’s serial number when ordering parts from the Self Service Repair Store unless the part involves a logic board replacement.

Additionally, Apple has introduced a new security feature with iOS 17.3, requiring biometric authentication such as fingerprint or Face ID for certain actions like viewing saved passwords or applying for an Apple Card. This Stolen Device Protection is designed to ensure that only the genuine owner of the device can perform these actions.

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