Egg Freckles
By Thomas Brand

23rd Nov 2021 Apple Store Pickup

I went to the Apple Store today to pick up a MacBook Air I had repaired under warranty. Apple requires a state ID or passport at time of pickup to prove identity. I am legally blind so I don't carry a driver's license, and my state ID had expired during the pandemic. I could prove my identity with my MIT employee photo ID, major credit cards, and a copy of my birth certificate I brought along just in case. Apple would not accept any of my forms of identification; including the repair ticket I was issued when I dropped off my computer.

In my pocket was an iPhone registered to the same Apple ID registered to my MacBook Air. The same Apple ID I used to sign up for my Genius appointment when I dropped off the computer. I know the username and password for this Apple ID, and could prove it with Apple two-factor authentication.

Apple wouldn't accept their own forms of identification either, and told me the only way they would return my computer to me was if came back to the store with a government issued ID, or called Apple Support and arranged for a person with a government issued ID to pickup my computer.

So that is what I did.

Why is it more secure for me to make an anonymous call to Apple Support1 and arrange some rando from the food court with a state ID to pick up my computer, than it is for me to prove my identity using the Apple ID and two-factor authentication the computer is registered to?

  1. Anonymous because the only information I offered to confirm my identity was my nine digit repair number, and the cell number I was calling from.