Over at Macworld Glenn Fleishman provides a useful reminder: If you’ve got two-factor authentication turned on for your Apple ID, you need to make sure you’ve saved your recovery key somewhere. If you get in a situation like Owen Williams of The Next Web did and get locked out of your account, Apple literally can’t get you back into your account.
Apple has designed its two-step recovery system, just like iOS 8’s passcode protection and Mac OS X’s FileVault encryption, so that if the necessary credentials are lost, the firm cannot recover your data. It’s not just being perverse. Apple doesn’t retain information in a way that lets it gain access without key pieces of data or devices only you possess. If it has the secrets, then attackers can gain them, too, or it can be compelled to surrender them to government agents.
If you can’t find your recovery key, go generate a new one and put it in a safe place.