Thanks to a feature associated with the Find My iPhone security app, a new report says tens of thousands of fully-functioning iPhones donated every year end up being scrapped for parts.
According to a report by Colorado Public Interest Research Group, CoPIRG, a feature called ‘activation lock’ which is meant to lock users’ iPhone’s in the event that they’re stolen or lost, also prevented 66,000 phones from being reused over a three year period.
The Wireless Alliance, a nationwide electronics recycling facility who was cited in the group’s study, said that one in four phones they received in 2018 had an activation lock still present.
‘While the activation lock is intended to deter thieves by making stolen phones unusable and therefore not worth stealing in the first place, it has also resulted in making a surprisingly high number of donated or handed-down phones unusable, having negative impacts on our environment and the used phone marketplace,’ reads the report.
Most mobile users can attest to the effectiveness of Find My iPhone for locating lost devices; the app allows users to track and secure their phone with an iCloud login using GPS location, by activating a siren so the phone can be located audibly, and, of course, by locking the phone to maintain security.