About two weeks ago, the Error 53 scandal became big news. (How come this wasn’t a -gate? 53gate?) iPhones that had been repaired by third parties were locked when launched because the Touch ID sensor did not register correctly. This was done, in fact, for security reasons, because if the Touch ID sensor had been tampered with, it might be possible for someone to get access to the iPhone. Apple explains this as follows:
After you try to update or restore your iOS device in iTunes on your Mac or PC, you might see error 53 in iTunes and “Connect to iTunes” on your device. Error 53 appears when a device fails a security test. This test was designed to check whether Touch ID works properly before the device leaves the factory, and wasn’t intended to affect customers.
Apple has released an update to iOS 9.2.1, which users can install using iTunes. The company outlines the procedure in this technical document.
Touch ID will not work on these devices, but the phone, and its data, will now be accessible.