Indeed the first thing I said to him WAS "did you back it up"? I made it clear in the first post that was an obvious thing, as stated most of his stuff was on Dropbox as mentioned in the original post.
Where I contracted briefly eight years ago if the customers data was at risk we would contact them and offer to image the disk before any further work was undertaken (at a charge), as we recognised that that data was likely more valuable to them than the disk itself.
TBH irrespective of him attempting to restore his data, what about his right to see to the destruction of his personal data in a manner he saw fit?
Yes, legally he would not have much of a leg to stand on, and clearly YOU think that that is just a-ok,
his only options then would come if his disk turned up somewhere or his data turned up online as it so often has done in several cases from various companies.
Putting aside the legal net it's probably tied up in, do you honestly feel this situation is fair? if it was a disk you'd lost and then learned the next day that your credit card details / medical records / SSN whatever might still be recovered from it would you really not have any questions about your recourse?
Personally I find that you "trying to smear people who acted normally as if they had some aberrant behavior is offensive." All you have done here is state what you believe the legal rights are with regard to the contract, and then fall to ad hominem.
So I have found it now myself.
" APPLE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ....THE FAILURE TO MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF DATA....Apple specifically does not warrant that it will be able to ....(ii) maintain the confidentiality of data."
So they've covered their asses in their contract, and specifically state if your data confidentially is lost then... they won't be held responsible.
This is why I take the disk out of any machine I have before sending the machine anywhere, but I did not know their specific policy.
As much as I would love everyone to do this for their own sakes, I'm not going to be offensive about them for not being so aware, and some people are not able to remove their drive anyway.