Apple is often prone to adding capabilities without thinking through the security implications. But this researcher should do some more research into what constitutes legitimate engineering uses.
“Some of this data shouldn’t be on the phone. HFSMeta creates a disk image of everything that’s on the phone, not the content but the metadata,” Zdziarski said. “There’s not even an engineering use for that.”
I can imagine plenty of legitimate uses of just metadata. For example, the old iOS backup mechanism basically took a snapshot of everything and something like HFSMeta could be used to identify the files that have changed so only those files are backed up.