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Apple is disabling some of its own devices, even after they’ve been purchased fair and square.

Some customers are reporting that after updating their iPhones or iPads with the latest version of iOS, the devices have suddenly been rendered useless. All the screen displays is the term “error 53”.

The strange thing about this error, however, is that it’s being inflicted on some Apple customers by the company on purpose. The problem only affects devices which feature the Touch ID fingerprint recognition, and even you can be targeted if you’ve ever gotten your phone repaired at a third-party company.

The reason for this is that Apple does not trust these companies. Even if you’ve just gotten your screen replaced at one of them, there’s a possibility, in theory, that the staff there may have messed with your fingerprint recognition feature for sinister purposes (like, for example, stealing your fingerprint or being able to hack your phone).

“This security measure is necessary to protect your device and prevent a fraudulent Touch ID sensor from being used. If a customer encounters Error 53, we encourage them to contact Apple Support,” the company told The Guardian.

Still, many customers think a complete shutdown of their phones is a little extreme. In fact, lawyers are starting to get involved.

If you see do “error 53” on your phone, contact Apple Support immediately. If you don’t have the error but know you’ve had your phone repaired by a third-party company, you might want to hold off on updating iOS until this all gets sorted out.

For more information, check out the video above.

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