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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:18 PM   #1
2012Tony2012
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Handing in iMac for service, Privacy Concerns?

Handing in my iMac for service, how can I clean and clear out all private activity that shows all websites visited and files opened etc?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:20 PM   #2
GGJstudios
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Apple service technicians don't have the time or inclination to look through your data. They just want to handle your service issues and move on to the next customer as quickly as possible. Your data is far more interesting to you than it is to anyone else.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:21 PM   #3
2012Tony2012
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Apple service technicians don't have the time or inclination to look through your data. They just want to handle your service issues and move on to the next customer as quickly as possible. Your data is far more interesting to you than it is to anyone else.
Can you be 100% sure?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:21 PM   #4
bobright
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If the hard drive failed I don't think you can..leaving them able to retrieve and see anything unless I'm wrong?!?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:24 PM   #5
DerekS
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When you take your machine in for service, you sign a waiver that releases Apple from all responsibility for the data, including the security of that data.

For this reason, whenever you go in for service:

1. Have a full backup (if possible)
2. Format the disk clean (if possible)

This is particularly important if some of your data isn't yours - a client's, for example.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:25 PM   #6
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by 2012Tony2012 View Post
Can you be 100% sure?
Nothing in this world is 100% certain, but they handle thousands upon thousands of customer computers. Even if someone was curious, after they've seen a few hundred computers with the same sort of stuff on them, it would get very old. There's nothing special about anyone's data, except in their own eyes.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:29 PM   #7
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Nothing in this world is 100% certain, but they handle thousands upon thousands of customer computers. Even if someone was curious, after they've seen a few hundred computers with the same sort of stuff on them, it would get very old. There's nothing special about anyone's data, except in their own eyes.
It's more than their jobs are worth to go through it. They'll only access what's needed (i.e. if you have an iPhoto issue, then it's reasonable to expect them to open iPhoto). For most hardware problems, they probably won't even boot it into your OS.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:41 PM   #8
rworne
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It's more than their jobs are worth to go through it. They'll only access what's needed (i.e. if you have an iPhoto issue, then it's reasonable to expect them to open iPhoto). For most hardware problems, they probably won't even boot it into your OS.
Do what I did:

Use Filevault and do not store your key with Apple.

I've seen them run their in-house diagnostic on such a machine. The drive is unreadable but will pass their diagnostics if there is no problem with it. I think the drive won't even boot at all past the initial password screen.

Worked out really well when bringing in the iMac for the HDD recall.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:48 AM   #9
Brian Y
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Do what I did:

Use Filevault and do not store your key with Apple.

I've seen them run their in-house diagnostic on such a machine. The drive is unreadable but will pass their diagnostics if there is no problem with it. I think the drive won't even boot at all past the initial password screen.

Worked out really well when bringing in the iMac for the HDD recall.
Genii have no access to your stored file vault key.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Apple service technicians don't have the time or inclination to look through your data. They just want to handle your service issues and move on to the next customer as quickly as possible. Your data is far more interesting to you than it is to anyone else.
This is a terrible response. You can't be sure of this so stop trying to elude that there is no chance.

OP, in your case I would clone your drive then reinstall the OS. Let them start with a fresh install.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bma View Post
It's more than their jobs are worth to go through it. They'll only access what's needed (i.e. if you have an iPhoto issue, then it's reasonable to expect them to open iPhoto). For most hardware problems, they probably won't even boot it into your OS.

easy enough to say, but reality is thats not always the case. Go on any tech support site and peopel are always talking about data found on client machines. In fact in the UK Paul Gadd (Gary Glitter was caught after taking his PC into PC world for a repair and a member of staff allerted police to what was on it. Hopefully thats not what the OP is concerned about though
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:24 AM   #12
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Trust no-one with your private data. What's often seemingly innocuous information to you, is a minefield to the wrong person. GGJ Studios lives on Earth2 where people behave like automatons so please excuse his automated response.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:38 AM   #13
iLondoner
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Are Apple repair staff any different from those at PC World?

Best take off all the naughty stuff, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/517604.stm
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jessica. View Post
This is a terrible response. You can't be sure of this so stop trying to elude that there is no chance.

OP, in your case I would clone your drive then reinstall the OS. Let them start with a fresh install.
You are able to do a fresh install of the OS if something is wrong though?

I come from window where you get the BSOD the screen of death and if that happens you're done, can't restore or anything. I guess OSX is different which is nice.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 05:28 AM   #15
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Invest in a decent NAS and then you can be sure that your data is stored & secured without having to leave stuff locally on your computer(s).
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13" rMBP Haswell i5/16GB/512GB (Late '13) 21.5" iMac i5/16GB/1TB Fusion (Late '12) iPhone 5s 32GB iPad rMini 32GB
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 07:15 AM   #16
GoCubsGo
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Originally Posted by bobright View Post
You are able to do a fresh install of the OS if something is wrong though?

I come from window where you get the BSOD the screen of death and if that happens you're done, can't restore or anything. I guess OSX is different which is nice.
That is a good point and you know OSX isn't different. You just have a good point. I have a MP, the stock drive is sitting in a box all nicely packed away for a quick swap should I need to take it in. My only issue with the MP was presumably hardware related. I say presumably because they never could figure it out and just gave me a new machine.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 08:04 AM   #17
Dunes
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Trust no-one with your private data..
I agree with you 100%.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 09:07 AM   #18
rworne
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Genii have no access to your stored file vault key.
Yes, but I listed the "paranoid" approach. Having Filevault on should be enough.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 09:18 AM   #19
gnasher729
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Originally Posted by rworne View Post
Do what I did:

Use Filevault and do not store your key with Apple.
Storing the Filevault master key with Apple is no problem. You can't actually store the key itself: You enter three security questions, the key is encrypted with the answers to those three questions, and only the encrypted key is sent to Apple. There is no way to get the key back except by entering the exact same three answers to unencrypt it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rworne View Post
Yes, but I listed the "paranoid" approach. Having Filevault on should be enough.
If you are paranoid, then you can't know that Apple doesn't send the key to Apple behind your back.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 12:12 PM   #20
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by gnasher729 View Post
Storing the Filevault master key with Apple is no problem. You can't actually store the key itself: You enter three security questions, the key is encrypted with the answers to those three questions, and only the encrypted key is sent to Apple. There is no way to get the key back except by entering the exact same three answers to unencrypt it.




If you are paranoid, then you can't know that Apple doesn't send the key to Apple behind your back.
I do know that - because there is a massive escalation process in order to get the key. It takes about 5 days, and requires proof of identity to be sent (which you have to be present physically for - you cannot do it over the telephone with AppleCare). And as you said, even if they DO get the key, they can't decrypt it without information only you hold.

Apple don't have the time or need to go through your personal data.
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