A Canadian man is taking Apple to court over its problem-plagued Time Capsule, saying the failure of the back-up storage device caused him to lose precious memories. He is demanding $25,000 from Apple as compensation.

Angela Waye
photo: Angela Waye

A man is taking Apple to court over its problem-plagued Time Capsule, saying the failure of the back-up storage device caused him to lose precious memories.

As the CBC reports, Perminder Tung used the Time Capsule to back up two laptops and an iPhone and to store his photos. The Canadian man claims that the device failed last month and that Apple told him that data on it was irretrievable. Tung, a lawyer, says the data included the birth of his first child and is now demanding $25,000 from Apple to compensate him for the broken device and the lost memories.

The Time Capsule has been subject to widely reported manufacturing defects and led Apple to offer free replacements for the device in 2010. Tung, who purchased his Time Capsule in 2008, says he fell outside of the recall period. According to a Guardian report in 2010, Apple didn’t disclose the extent of the problem and declined to extend its replacement offer to all those affected.

Stories like Tung’s are becoming more common in the digital age as people record their memories on fragile, non-physical media. My colleague Mathew Ingram recently offered a thoughtful reflection on this issue when he described looking at photographs at the funeral of a family friend.

(Image by Angela Waye via Shutterstock)

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  1. You don’t have a backup if it isn’t in AT LEAST 3 places one of them being off-site. More IS better. My photos are in 7 places, 2 of which are “in the cloud”. It isn’t Apple’s fault you 100% trust one technology that would go up in smoke if your house burnt down.

    1. You are absolutely correct. Have have backups online as well as physical backups in multiple locations. To expect a hard drive from 2008 to last forever is ridiculous.

  2. Denim Smith Friday, June 15, 2012

    As a dad of a 2 yr old, this is why I built and just launched http://www.miLifemap.com for families to store and backup their most meaningful memories in photos,videos, and diary + social network content – where the member owns and controls all their data.
    This is just sad. Hope he emailed or printed some of the photos.

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  3. You’re using a HDD from 2008 and not backing that up? Idiot.

  4. Richard Luther Friday, June 15, 2012

    Funny. I didn’t realize hard drives are “non physical.”

    1. Well sure, the drives themselves are physical, but what’s put on them–the thing people care about–is digital, and can therefore be lost much more easily than the drive itself.

  5. NotaDumbass Friday, June 15, 2012

    Only an idiot would back up to the same hard drive for 4 years. We wouldn’t even be hearing such a story if it was a WD hard drive.

    Glad this guys not my lawyer.

  6. Denim Smith Friday, June 15, 2012

    This is sad and I hope he had a few copies in his email or printed them off. As a dad of a 2 year old, this is precisely why I built and just launched http://www.miLifemap.com to store/ backup a families most meaningful memories in photos, videos, and diary + to backup social network content.

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  7. John Cassidy Friday, June 15, 2012

    The Time Capsule is a backup device. It can also be used for external storage. If he stored photos solely on the Time Capsule he should have backed that up too. The whole point of backups is to have more than one copy. I think it is unlikely his laptops and iPhone have all failed too and at the same time, that would be unlucky, or is he going to sue the manufacturers of them too?

  8. A back up isn’t a back up unless you have a back up of the back up also.. Idiot.. Serves him right!!!

  9. Jens Hamada Sunday, June 17, 2012

    apple….. i would sue them to whenever possible. they deserve no better. but i don´t buy their crap.

  10. I don’t get it. If my Time Capsule fails all the data still exists on my MacBook Pro. Or was he deleting data from his computers thinking it would always be stored on a single drive?

    I don’t believe the data is actually gone from his laptops unless he deleted them. If he was using the Time Capsule as backup, not as storage, then he doesn’t have a case. If he was deleting items and trusting precious memories to a single disk, then he’s naive.

    1. Exactly right, and if he was deleting items and trusting precious memories to a single disk, he may not have a case, either.

  11. So Mr Tung asked Apple if the data from Time Capsule could be recovered. Apple said no, but has he asked for a second opinion?

    Apple are great at lots of things, but not data recovery experts. This is what we do here at PicBack.
    We have successfully recovered data from many damaged Time Capsules. They can be a little more difficult to work on but are still just hard drives at the end of the day.

    While we can’t guarantee that data can be recovered every time, we have all the right tools for the job. If anyone else is in the same position then they can read more about out service here – http://picback.com/time-capsule-recovery

    This story should stand as a warning that drives do fail and that it is always a good idea to have several backups of your valuable data.

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