06/14/2012 05:58 EDT | Updated 08/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Apple TimeCapsule 'Defect' Leads To B.C. Lawsuit


A Surrey, B.C., man is suing the Apple computer company for $25,000 after his Time Capsule backup drive crashed, taking with it a year of photographs including those showing the birth of his first child.

In his suit filed in B.C.'s small claims court, Perminder Tung says he bought the Apple Time Capsule in June 2009 and used it to back up two MacBooks and an iPhone.

It failed last month, he alleges, and when he took it back to the Apple Store, he was told the data was lost and irretrievable.

Tung alleges he was also told at the store that the product had numerous issues related to defects in the design and the power supply.

He says he was told Apple had issued a recall notice for the Time Capsule, but his particular model was outside of the recall's time frame.

Tung, who is a lawyer, says he's since learned of many other Time Capsule failures, which have spawned online forums, a memorial register and dubious fix-it yourself videos.

In his claim, Tung is suing Apple Canada for just over $25,000 to replace the hardware and to compensate him for the loss of recorded memories like the birth of his first child.

"The defect with the Time Capsules, which invariably destroyed the stored data, amounts to a fundamental and total breach of contract. The alleged 'Time Capsule' did not encapsulate and protect the information it was intended to secure. The breach destroyed the workable character of the thing sold," says Tung in his claim.

Back up your backups

Apple Canada did not return calls from the CBC, but technology guru Tod Maffin says the suit is just proof computer users need to back up data multiple times.

"Really, it's incumbent on the user to protect their data, especially if that data is important from a business or a really personal point of view," says Maffin.

He notes that precious mementoes in life are no longer as durable as they once were.

"It used to be that the products we would make were industrial era, they were physical things, and increasingly in this information economy what we produce as a society doesn't exist in physical form."

"It exists in bits and bytes, so it is even more important that we use many of these services, some of which are even free these days, to back up your computer."