I took my laptop to the Apple Store to get it repaired. (The keyboard doesn’t work.) After explaining to the guy at the store, he starts taking down my contact info. When he’s done, he says. “And what’s your username and password? Don’t worry. Your data is safe.”
Aghast, I say “But my data is NOT safe if I give you my password!*”
“Can’t you just boot off an external drive or something?”
“Well, umm… yeah, but this is how that prefer we do it.”
Sure enough, the Apple form has blanks for username and password.
In the end, I gave them Ming’s password, because really it didn’t matter. I was giving a perfect stranger an unencrypted drive. It does make me think though. After decades of telling users not to share they’re passwords. Not to give them to people saying they’re from IT. Not to trust anyone with your password, Apple is undoing this as part of standard operating procedure. Or maybe I’m just old, and I’m supposed to think of Apple as a parent.†
* Yes, I recognized the naivete of believing a simple password provided adequate security in this situation.
†My parents never read my stuff. I see no reason to read my child’s.