After Mat Honan’s iCloud account was very publically owned, Apple enabled two-factor authentication. When you turn on two-factor authentication for your account, Apple provides you with a recovery key to print out that you’ll need in case you get locked out of your account. If you lose this key, there isn’t much that you can do except set up a new account.
This is exactly what happened to TheNextWeb’s Owen Williams. He lost access to his iCloud account, but since he misplaced the recovery key, he now he can’t recover his password and reactivate his account. Now, he is upset that you can’t recover an account without its recovery key. I know that a lot of Mac users are just getting used to the whole “security” thing, but this might take the cake.
In this situation, Apple is doing exactly what we want them to do: Anything else and it would be possible for someone to fake their way into accessing someone else’s account. It’s nothing against Owen Williams, this is a pretty common mistake that people make in security, but sadly, the battle between easy-to-use and security is eternal.