×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the cooperation-in-3-2-1 dept.

Security 465

mrspoonsi writes "A man whose mother bequeathed her iPad to her family in her will says Apple's security rules are too restrictive. Since her death, they have been unable to unlock the device, despite providing Apple with copies of her will, death certificate and solicitor's letter. After her death, they discovered they did not know her Apple ID and password, but were asked to provide written consent for the device to be unlocked. Mr Grant said: 'We obviously couldn't get written permission because mum had died. So my brother has been back and forth with Apple, they're asking for some kind of proof that he can have the iPad. We've provided the death certificate, will and solicitor's letter but it wasn't enough. They've now asked for a court order to prove that mum was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

My DICK Is So Long! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416247)

Oh man, won't somebody please SHIT ON MY COCK?! It shouldn't be so hard to find somebody to SHIT ON MY COCK!

Re:My DICK Is So Long! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416309)

Oh man, won't somebody please SHIT ON MY COCK?! It shouldn't be so hard to find somebody to SHIT ON MY COCK!

Oh man, won't somebody please SHIT ON MY COCK?! It shouldn't be so hard to find somebody to SHIT ON MY COCK!

Yeah. Take it from me fellas. It don't matter if it's your wife, girlfriend, fuckbuddy, one-night stand, gay lover, or married gay man in those states that allow it. As long as feces contacts penis you will have such a Happy Good Time!

If you are fapping right now know there is no shame in enjoying a Great Big Shitcock! Just remember people, black penis is usually pretty big but it doesn't get as hard so you gotta plan accordingly!

Why? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416251)

Has it ever occurred to you that you could just reflash the device? You might need to manually put it DFU more, or just command click restore in ITunes and that's it.

Apple is right, your mother gave you the iPad, not the data on it.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416273)

hi. first, there may be content of value on the iPad, like photos or something. second, new iPads have a kill switch where you can't even wipe them without the master password.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416289)

That is wrong. The kill switch is only present when you connect a running device. If the device is in DFU mode, you can flash it.

Bear in mind TFS states only the iPad was bequeathed, not the content on it.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 9 months ago | (#46416297)

Apple is right, your mother gave you the iPad, not the data on it.

The data does not belong to Apple.

The iPad does not belong to Apple.

Apple should have no skin in this game, they don't own any part of it.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416351)

That's quite a silly argument. Apple does have a stake, precisely because of the data. When a person gives up their iPad in a will, they're giving it up WITH the data. Otherwise they would stipulate they are giving away just the iPad, and not the data on it. After all, how many people do you know who would pass you an iPad with the data still on it without clearing it, or instructing you to clear it if they trust you? If they didn't stipulate precisely what they were giving up, then it is obvious they meant the iPad with the data. Even the most free-spirited layperson I know just told me they wouldn't even give their tablet away with the data intentionally, so if they wrote a will they would say it was the data-wiped device they were giving away. And she's also a grandmother, almost 80 years old today.

Re:Why? (2)

leptons (891340) | about 9 months ago | (#46416391)

My co-worker gave me his personal tablet to use for work purposes (app testing), with his photos and music still on it. He gave it for me and then took an assignment in another office and hasn't cared to ask for it back. I haven't looked to see if I could purchase with his appleId but I don't really care to even try. This kind of thing probably happens all the time, except in your narrow view of the world.

Most people don't give a second thought about privacy, especially when they don't have anything to hide, and I'd bet grandma had nothing to hide on that tablet.

Apple has once again proven their overbearing stranglehold on everything they touch.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#46416537)

It's only been a year or so since Mat Honan got all his Amazon, Google, and Apple data wiped because someone was able to trick their way into his accounts. Apple got castigated over that, and implemented a lot of extra security to try to prevent that sort of thing from happening again. Well, guess what? You can't have it both ways. One way or the other, there will be problematic edge cases - and this sort of thing is one of them.

Re:Why? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 9 months ago | (#46416729)

One way or the other, there will be problematic edge cases - and this sort of thing is one of them.

It may be problematic for Apple, but it's not the family's responsibility to resolve it.

Apple chose to hold the keys to other people's valuables. They are responsible for making them available when needed.

Re:Why? (1)

lucm (889690) | about 9 months ago | (#46416593)

My co-worker gave me his personal tablet to use for work purposes (app testing), with his photos and music still on it.

I can understand if you don't care about the data, but I would still advise you to take a quick look at the pictures and possibly at the browsing history to make sure that you don't need to coat this thing with Purell (or dip it in rubbing alcohol).

Any Geeksquad veteran will tell you that there is a surprisingly large number of people who do ungodly things with their iPads (and I don't mean taking pictures of their tuna salad at Applebees).

You have to be careful with "second hand" devices...

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

giorgist (1208992) | about 9 months ago | (#46416571)

Well she gave the iPad but not the data in the cloud ... she may be using that now that she is up there.l

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 9 months ago | (#46416541)

Apple is right, your mother gave you the iPad, not the data on it.

The data does not belong to Apple.

The iPad does not belong to Apple.

Apple should have no skin in this game, they don't own any part of it.

Actually, the box says "Your Apple iPad" inferring that Apple still own it and you're just using it. Besides this, your soul is the minimum price for any apple product. The bequeathed couldn't inherit this agreement as the agreement was for his grandmothers soul, he'll need to bequeath his soul to Apple (signed in blood, in triplicate) before they can do anything.

Jokes aside here, Apple is just being a dick, which is really what we can expect from Apple. The inheritor is legally entitled to the data on that device (as they would to any other intellectual properties like writings, patents and works of art created by the deceased) and Apple have the capacity to unlock the device (which is scary enough on its own) but refuse to do so because, because, shut up, thats why.

Also this is in the UK, consumer protection will not be kind to Apple.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416613)

The customer does not own the software, the customer has a license to use the system, but iOS remains the property of Apple.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416665)

iOS remains the property of Apple.

So they get to keep granny's family photos, legal documents and whatever else she kept on her iDevice?

This is indefensible behavior. Apple are being assholes.

Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over th (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#46416255)

Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over that??

Re:Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416263)

Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over that??

I don't know what the laws UK like are. With Google look it up, I can!

Re:Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over (1)

Kkloe (2751395) | about 9 months ago | (#46416291)

Do that, I will patiently await your investigation and that you return here and tell us all about the laws

Re:Just fuck it long and hard baby (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416335)

Do that, I will patiently await your investigation and that you return here and tell us all about the laws

I investigated yo mama's vagina with my Great Big Shitcock!

Re:Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416293)

It's lethal injection or the chair if you hack an iPad.

Those Apple lobbyists do a great job!

Re:Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 9 months ago | (#46416585)

Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over that??

The idea is that you can't.

Re:Just hack it but what are the laws like UK over (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 9 months ago | (#46416685)

Does the UK have that stupid digital-lock law? If so, it would be a crime to break the lock even if it was otherwise legal.

How ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416275)

... Is Apple supposed to help here? Something ain't right.

They're stalling (5, Insightful)

Lisias (447563) | about 9 months ago | (#46416277)

Apple will do whatever it will takes to demove the family from getting the account access for the following reaons:

1) They want *new* account to inflate the user base.

2) By stalling the request increases the chance that the family decides it's not worth the pain.

3) They don't want to deal with similar cases in the future - there's no money on it. So it's important to them to avoid precedences.

Welcome to this brave new world, where companies decides what you own and the rights you have on it.

Re:They're stalling (5, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | about 9 months ago | (#46416451)

Actually they should ask the sons to get written permission from Steve Jobs before unlocking. All Apple products belong to Jobs and Jobs alone.

Re:They're stalling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416539)

Yeah, bull&*%&t .

They have procedures for handling this, and unlocking the accounts - I've seen it done. Most likely the family has either run into an employee who is incompetent OR they are fixating on the device unlock.

What they can't do is remote unlock a device.

Re:They're stalling (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 9 months ago | (#46416693)

They don't need to remote-unlock it, just do a fucking password reset. It should take them all of 30 seconds once they've received the legal papers.

Re:They're stalling (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416605)

Welcome to this brave new world, where companies decides what you own and the rights you have on it.

Which is why you don't purchase hardware that you don't have full control over or content that you can't shift into a format that you control. This is why I don't own any Apple products, no respect for users.

Re:They're stalling (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416679)

Cut the anti-capitalist crap. The device is keeping their late mother's data secure, as it was designed to do, and demanded by customers. Everything is working exactly as it should; don't be so butthurt and entitled when it's inconvenient. This is how you want[ed] it.

Disguisting! (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#46416281)

How dare that consumer act as though Apple's intellectual property was something she could just 'bequeath' because she's all dead or some sentimental rubbish? She should be grateful that they deigned to permit her a limited license!

Maybe mum bequeathed the device... (4, Insightful)

kylemonger (686302) | about 9 months ago | (#46416283)

... but didn't bequeath all her pr0n. The family could take ownership of the device by just wiping it. The stuff downloaded onto it is a different matter, and I think Apple is doing right by not unlocking it.

Re:Maybe mum bequeathed the device... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416401)

This isn't true at all.

From TFA: "In her will she indicated that her estate was to be split between her five boys". This was probably by way of an ordinary residuary gift clause such as 'I give, devise and bequeth the rest and residue of my estate wheresoever situate equally as tenants in common to those of my five children named A, B, C, D, and Timmy who survive me.'

By such a clause, the whole of the estate not specifically given to someone else earlier in the will goes to the five children; this would include the pr0n on the device. As to the distribution between the sons (from TFA there is agreement that only the one son will get the whole of the ipad), this is not improper and not uncommon when distributing items of property because, in essence, you can't really split an ipad or a chair or a bible or a painting of jesus riding a dinosaur five ways. (at the very least, you can't physically split them five ways and expect them to keep their - sentimental or monetary - value).

Further, I don't really understand the issue here. From the time of death, the executor of a deceased estate (as a general rule) has all the functions and powers necessary to deal with the assets forming the estate in effect as though they were the deceased. This includes, for example, carrying on (with some exceptions) court proceedings or carrying on the deceased's business.

I can't see any reason why Apple should not accept a letter from the executor (or an executor if there is more than one) authorising them to deal with the account as though that letter had been sent by the deceased herself. It seems to me that it would be open to the executors to commence proceedings seeking declarations from a Court with jurisdiction to that effect and, if Apple were my clients, I would be advising them to be very carefully consider their basis for defending those proceedings.

-AC Lawyer.

P.S. I'd spell and grammar check this but I'm AC ;)

Re:Maybe mum bequeathed the device... (5, Informative)

vandelais (164490) | about 9 months ago | (#46416583)

AC lawyer--you should know better.

I RTFA. The kids don't have proof of executorship.
A will doesn't cut it.

Certified Death Certificate=proof of death.
Solicitor's letter=a letter from an attorney that uses fancypants words like herewith and forthwith
Copy of will=copy of an unexecuted will, of which there may be several copies drafted and amended over the years to perhaps bequeath the rights or property to someone else. This is why people come out of the woodwork with multiple wills or the courts settle the matter when there is a dispute. Waiting periods often apply. Sometimes the equivalent of a cocktail napkin is sufficient evidence to decide these matters, but the matter about always necessitates a document bearing the raised seal of a probate court or affidavit drafted by a lawyer or a Suze Orman CDROM which includes the statutory language.

What the children don't have is a document proving that the will was entered into probate, or statutory substitute thereof.--often a property-specific court order. It works the same in the U.K. as it does the states (it gets weird with Louisiana, though).

The children either want to avoid full probate because of the expense or need to get a new attorney familiar with whatever the affidavit of small estate alternative process is for their jurisdiction. They can tell the 'false economy' story to folks who don't understand civil law and get the media and the blogosphere to believe them.

Why do they need to unlock it? (5, Informative)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | about 9 months ago | (#46416287)

Did she bequeath the iPad or the apps/data on the iPad and the iTunes account to go with it? I'm pretty sure that even if the device is locked, that you can still do a factory reset on it and then have access to the iPad. Granted you would lose all the apps and data on the device, but you would still have the device to use as you wish.

If she bequeathed the iTunes account, then the account email and password should have been in the will or related documents, if not, then it's reasonable to assume she just left the hardware which you can reset and then have full use of.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (3, Interesting)

puto (533470) | about 9 months ago | (#46416329)

That is like saying my mother passed and while she bequeathed me her possessions she didnt explicitly say what I was left in her safety deposit box, so I only get the box and the bank gets the rest. Even if they do reset it that IPAD is going to be linked to their mothers .me/Icloud account and and so any imessages or Apple specific services that the heirs want to use, will be linked to their mothers account, and therefore not usable. Because unless it is removed from the moms account, they cannot link it with their own. So, they cannot have full use of it without access to the account/device.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 9 months ago | (#46416381)

Analogy fail: Your mother didn't own any safety deposit box. She owned the contents and rented the box from the bank it is stored in.

It's not too hard to imagine someone leaving, say, a piece of antique furniture but not the diaries stored inside.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

puto (533470) | about 9 months ago | (#46416387)

I agree with the analogy fail, but if the Ipad is not removed from the mothers account, reset or not, then it is useless even if it is reset, because without being removed they cannot link it to another account to buy apps/content/ or use all of Apples whizbang features.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 9 months ago | (#46416333)

Unless she gave it away elsewhere, her family owns all of her former property. It doesn't matter if she explicitly gave it to them or not, so long as she didn't explicitly give it elsewhere.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

meerling (1487879) | about 9 months ago | (#46416343)

Most people, especially those that aren't as tech adept as us, would consider those one and the same, so bequeathing the ipad to someone automatically includes all the apps and data on it, needed by it, or associated with it.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 9 months ago | (#46416437)

Did she bequeath the iPad or the apps/data on the iPad and the iTunes account to go with it? I'm pretty sure that even if the device is locked, that you can still do a factory reset on it and then have access to the iPad. Granted you would lose all the apps and data on the device, but you would still have the device to use as you wish.

If she bequeathed the iTunes account, then the account email and password should have been in the will or related documents, if not, then it's reasonable to assume she just left the hardware which you can reset and then have full use of.

No, it was just the iPad.

The problem is that since iOS7, Apple implemented a kill switch called "Activation Lock" in an attempt to slow down the theft of the devices - with it, the owner can remotely wipe the device, and more importantly, that device cannot be used by anyone else, thus ensuring that any stolen iPads, iPhones, etc. are rendered worthless.

What likely happened is just that - the iPad got locked and is right now, effectively worthless.

Of course, Apple has to be careful too - they can't really offer a way to unlock those devices because it's really a backdoor to Activation Lock and a way for criminals to well, steal your device and then cry to Apple to unlock it saying it belonged to their parents so they could resell it as more than just scrap.

It's really one of those catch-22 situations - Apple can't contact the original owner to verify if that iPad really belongs to them and they're not just some criminal looking to change their $0 iPad into a $400 iPad on the stolen goods market. And they can't just take those documents because well, the family could come back again next week with another stolen iPad and do the same thing.

And no, Activation Lock is practically impossible to defeat - if you reset it, it'll ask for the Apple ID credentials before you can proceed. If you get an unlocked one and try to restore it (with Find my iThing on), iTunes refuses to do it until you turn it off (which requires the password). If you force DFU and reload, it won't work until you re=login again, etc.

It's one of those things - what can Apple do? Remember the goal is to make the illegally acquired resale value zero because a user buying it can't do anything with it. And any way for Apple to help this family can be exploited (hell, do you KNOW that the iPad they got bequeathed wasn't stolen?). Apple requiring a court order basically means the courts will have to ascertain the identity of everyone and be enough of a pain that even a thief probably won't go through that effort. Certainly not one who wants to be identified should the iThing really be stolen.

They may have a chain of evidence though - the store receipt where the iPad was purchased on a credit card, a credit card bill with the charge on it and the billing name and address which can be compared against their Apple ID account, a death certificate with the same name and address on it, a will with the same name and address, and the iPad, whose serial number will match that on the receipt. Woe be to those who bought it at a store who doesn't record serial numbers, though!

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 9 months ago | (#46416469)

Everything you say is actually true EXCEPT, this isn't that families problem, it is apples. When you die your worldly possessions go to your family or anyone else you deem fit to bequeath them too. It is legal and quite proper, Their is no catch 22, Apple have no legal standing here as a properly written will IS a legal document with the authority to transfer ownership, it is not up to the family to provide further proof, if apple is concerned it is on them to provide proof that this particular item was stolen. I hope Apple get their arses sued off.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#46416533)

Doesn't that assume that Apple is bound to unlock any device at all? I don't know if that's the case.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 9 months ago | (#46416577)

Any device where a legal document transferring the ownership of the device to another person. Why Yes it does, why should it be otherwise? Do Apple get more authority than the courts now and get to assume everyone is guilty until they can prove they are innocent?

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1, Troll)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#46416621)

For a comparison, is a car manufacturer required to install new locks when a car changes ownership and the previous owner forgot to pass on the keys?

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416645)

NO, but they are required to provide a new set of keys to the new owner with legal document showing transfer of ownership (though they may charge for that service). They aren't asking for a new set of locks, merely the a new set of keys.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

DarkSabreLord (1067044) | about 9 months ago | (#46416727)

It's the courts who presume innocent until proven guilty, anyone not a court is free to presume what they'd like. This is why Apple is asking for a legal ruling from the government, the action would eliminate any liability about the matter in the future.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416717)

Apple chose to be a keyholder for other people's property. They are bound to provide that service to the owners of the property.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 9 months ago | (#46416611)

Everything you say is actually true EXCEPT, this isn't that families problem, it is apples. When you die your worldly possessions go to your family or anyone else you deem fit to bequeath them too. It is legal and quite proper, Their is no catch 22, Apple have no legal standing here as a properly written will IS a legal document with the authority to transfer ownership, it is not up to the family to provide further proof, if apple is concerned it is on them to provide proof that this particular item was stolen. I hope Apple get their arses sued off.

It's not Apple's problem at all. The item in question is an iPad that is locked requiring the AppleId + Password to unlock. That is what the mother owned. The other thing that she had was her AppleId + Password. She passed the iPad to her children, and unfortunately didn't pass the AppleId + Password as well. The kids got what she had, an iPad without any value.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416681)

When you die all your possessions go to your family/heir/beneficiaries whether you explicitly bequeath them in your will or not. Forgetting to put something in your will doesn't mean nobody gets it.

Because iOS 7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416493)

Maybe iOS 6 or earlier, but not iOS 7. It's doesn't allow for a factory reset without the previous owner's Apple ID.

Re:Why do they need to unlock it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416551)

Does your mother update her will every time she changes a password on her account? I don't even have a will, yet I still expect all the money in my bank account to go to my heirs even though I don't have my passwords written down anywhere. Surely you expect the same.

dom

They should approach the NSA instead... (5, Funny)

wooppp (921578) | about 9 months ago | (#46416295)

Wouldn't that be easier?

Does Apple have the ability to unlock the device? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#46416301)

Because if not, it's not like any proof of the authenticity of their claim will make any difference at all.

If you ask me, I think that the necessary information about her itunes account and password, given that the device itself was bequeathed in her will anyways, should have been stored in a sealed envelope which accompanied the physical copy of the will.

Re:Does Apple have the ability to unlock the devic (5, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about 9 months ago | (#46416355)

By their request for proof, they have clearly indicated that they do in fact have that ability. Otherwise they'd have started and ended the conversation with a simple, "I'm sorry, but we do not have the capability to compromise any users security. Without the login information or passwords we are unable to assist you.". Or something equivalent.

Re: Does Apple have the ability to unlock the devi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416481)

I'm pretty sure Apple can reset an Apple ID password. As to unlocking the device, that's a separate issue

Re:Does Apple have the ability to unlock the devic (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 9 months ago | (#46416555)

Apple has a feature called activation lock. Basically the phone checks with Apple's servers to see which Apple ID the hardware was registered to, and will refuse to work unless the previous user first logs into the web interface and removes the lock.

Re:Does Apple have the ability to unlock the devic (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 9 months ago | (#46416725)

The iPad is synced to an iTunes account and since it's locked and no one can open it we know it's the account of the owner of the device. The iTunes account is tied to a credit or debit card is it not? Otherwise the owner would not have been able to get any apps for the iPad. Even free apps require some way to legally verify the "purchaser" is in the location they say they are for licensing reasons.

The bank account/line of credit is legally tied to the deceased. Seems to me Apple is sitting on the very proof they are requiring of the family.

Good. (2)

dmomo (256005) | about 9 months ago | (#46416315)

It should be hard. The will may have said they could have the ipad. I didn't see anything about the data on it. Soon enough, it will be basic will-writing protocol to include any necessary keys to data as it is with access physical objects.

Wills aside, I'm glad to see one more hurdle in the social engineering chain.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#46416427)

So if my father leaves me his safety deposit box, I get the box, but not the contents? I think you are wrong, an old woman wouldn't have thought anyone would separate them. That you understand the difference doesn't make it as obvious as you declare.

Re:Good. (3, Interesting)

firex726 (1188453) | about 9 months ago | (#46416529)

Hell, make it simpler, if someone leaves me their computer, does the drive need to be wiped and all the programs and OS repurchased, even if they came with the computer?

Re:Good. (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 9 months ago | (#46416629)

So if my father leaves me his safety deposit box, I get the box, but not the contents? I think you are wrong, an old woman wouldn't have thought anyone would separate them. That you understand the difference doesn't make it as obvious as you declare.

If he rents a bank safety deposit box, and there was an agreement that only a person with your father's fingerprints can open the box...

typical large corporation stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416317)

They'll take your locked stolen iPad from a thief and give them a new one, but they won't do right by a deceased person and allow the family to use it. Figures.

So they don't even have the Apple ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416321)

.... but want Apple to just hand over everything just because they claim the device was owned by their dead mother?

A letter from a "solicitor" (whatever the hell that is) is not proof of anything. For all we (including Apple) know this is just a stolen iPad and they are trying to use dear old dead mom as an excuse to unlock it. So, yes ... they should provide REAL PROOF before any company (not just Apple) unlocks a device or hands over any data.

Re:So they don't even have the Apple ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416363)

A solicitor is the UK version of a lawyer.

For all you know? Doesn't seem like much.

I'm not sure what kind of real proof would be sufficient for you. DNA testing the screen along with the exhumed corpse of the mother?

Re:So they don't even have the Apple ID (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 9 months ago | (#46416535)

It's also illegal to impersonate a solicitor/layer in both the US and UK; if it is a scam it went from petty theft to actual jail time and a $5000 fine.
Having one sign off is comparable to a Notary in the US witness and stamp a document.

Re:So they don't even have the Apple ID (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | about 9 months ago | (#46416739)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

In most English speaking countries outside the US, the concept of 'lawyer' is split into two types of people: solicitors and barristers (though some individuals may practice law as both). Links above explain the difference.

Where is Jack McCoy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416331)

I'm pretty sure I remember a few episodes of Law and Order in which Jack McCoy successfully argued that the need for privacy is alleviated in death. He did this to get medical records unsealed and was successful in his case. Granted, that is TV, but...it seems valid to me.

Privacy (0)

PC_THE_GREAT (893738) | about 9 months ago | (#46416337)

The thing is, she has willed the iPad, but she hasn't willed her life, and her accounts. Imagine you willed your computer, this in no way implies for example that you would want your heir to have access to your facebook account and who with whom you've been sleeping with over the past ten or 20 years of your living.

Re:Privacy (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about 9 months ago | (#46416549)

Except by your reasoning the entire drive would need to be wiped before it could be turned over.
Any journals written by the person would also need to be erased somehow, since according to you, they turned over the journal not what was written in it.

American Corporations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416339)

Taking away your right to private property, one cloud at a time.

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416365)

otherwise it might create incentive for people to murder their parents.

Serial number (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 9 months ago | (#46416373)

TFA doesn't mention whether or not the serial # was specified in the will(my guess is that it wasn't), so how can the family even prove that the ipad they are holding is the same one given to them by their mother? While it more than likely is, if they cannot absolutely prove it's the same device Apple does have a plausible reason for denying the request.

Of course they can prove it (2)

mha (1305) | about 9 months ago | (#46416447)

If the security is so good that they need Apple to unlock it then they can easily prove that it's their mom's device because the active account on the device is her mom.

No idea who modded you "insightful" - no disrespect to you, I make 1000 silly mistakes a day, but looking at other people's texts/comments is always easier than judging your own words so I DO have some doubts about those who moderated this comment up. Unless someone can point out an error in my argument, but I think it's pretty obvious (well, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have said it, wouldn't I).

Re:Of course they can prove it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416505)

Apple can prove that... if the family can't unlock it, they sure can't.

So...not quite pretty obvious... slightly wrong.

Re:Serial number (4, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 9 months ago | (#46416489)

Why was that marked insightful? You don't put the VIN number for the cars you own in your will either, nor do you put the serial numbers from each electrical appliance, watch or other worldly possessions. Why is it suddenly that this is on the family to prove for this particular type of device, A Will is a legal document, if Apple thinks the item might be stolen then it is on Apple to prove it, not the family.

Re:Serial number (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#46416639)

I'm guessing that the GP has never had to deal with a will or death issue of a family member and the transfer of items from the dead to the living. It's not a pretty process, and in a lot of families it's usually only one or two people who end up dealing with this.

Re:Serial number (2)

physicsphairy (720718) | about 9 months ago | (#46416557)

Clearly, Apple cannot afford to take the risk. Why, if they give in just this one time, they set the stage for this family to become kingpins of crime. All they would need is a steady flow of cadavers, forged legal documents, lawyers, and stolen iPads, any of which these sort of experience criminals could find fenced for a-dime-a-dozen.

executor's request plus will should be enough (1)

cas2000 (148703) | about 9 months ago | (#46416393)

Legally, the Executor of the will (or the appointed Administrator if there was no will), should be able to write that letter of consent, if Apple cretinously insists on having one - the Executor is acting on behalf of the Estate, and has similar powers and reponsibilities as a person with power of attorney.

Re:executor's request plus will should be enough (4, Interesting)

vandelais (164490) | about 9 months ago | (#46416653)

They didn't get an appointment, probably because there's no substantial assets (real estate, automobile) subject to probate or they got around probate with those other assets using joint ownership.

The will shows who the deceased at one point in time said should have the rights to the property.
The problem the children have is the will is not in force unless a court says it is .
There could be multiple wills. They all start "Last will and testament". People step forward on frequent occasion with an updated will or contestation of a singular will. A court sorts this out. That is why the uniform commercial code says that proof of executorship/administration, even when issued by the court, be accepted if dated within 60 days. In this way, the person or entity accepting the authority of the court from that document be held without blame according to safe harbor provisions.

Privacy... not (1)

john_uy (187459) | about 9 months ago | (#46416399)

Yet when governments demand that data be provided, all the fuss goes away and gives it easily.

Re:Privacy... not (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#46416671)

Indeed. If there was a three-letter American organization working on this, there would be no arm-wrestling but instead we would have a nice full data dump in the same day.

There's an App for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416413)

If she had the after-life app she could have taken it with her & not worry about this bequeathing nonsense

Try the naive way (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 9 months ago | (#46416421)

Go to Apple store and
- Hello I don't remember my password, and, no, never synced the device since I've no computer
- Well we can reset it but you will lose all your data
Enjoy anew iPad

Re:Try the naive way (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#46416527)

no, not with the new os. now when you reset it the thing asks you for your pwd before starting up again. otherwise it's bricked.

Fiduciary can get it done (5, Informative)

Garnaralf (595872) | about 9 months ago | (#46416431)

I was recently the Fiduciary, or executor, or an estate where an iPad was involved. I sent a letter, as the Fiduciary, along with my appointment papers, requesting the password, in order that a proper value of the iPod could be determined, which included the data on the iPad. Apple refused. I immediately made an appointment with the Judge of the Probate, and explained the situation. She immediately sent a letter to Apple, demanding that they supply or clear the password, or be charged with contempt of court. They sent the password. Thankfully, this is not a large area, population-wise, that this could be handled quickly. I can only imagine how difficult it could be in a large city.

If she wanted them to have the data (4, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | about 9 months ago | (#46416435)

Fundamentally, I see this as a security issue. If the deceased wanted someone to have the data on the iPad, she should have provided the means to have access to that data. You can't just bequeath it in a will and then expect everyone else to sort it out after you're gone. That's inconsiderate.

It's also hypocritical to hold a company up to high standards for maintaining security and user privacy, and then at the same time blame them for not just rolling over and handing over the means to decrypt that information. It's not Apple's responsibility to give the family that ability, but the owner of that content. If I have years of personal photos that I've encrypted and bequeathed to someone, I'm sure as hell not going to just say, "here, you get this hard drive full of encrypted memories, but good luck decrypting it--I'm taking the decryption keys to my grave." That's stupid.

Even if Apple can unlock that data and eventually does so, think about how that might look to some people, who would NOT want their heirs/family/descendants to have the means to rummage through their personal data. You see this happen all the time--families of the deceased try to weasel their way into secrets and intimate histories of those who died. If all it might take is some lawyers and potentially dubious documentation to get around a dead person's privacy, then I would think twice about leaving any personal data behind.

Re:If she wanted them to have the data (2)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about 9 months ago | (#46416563)

It's actually not the data, it's just the device itself as a functional iPad. The activation lock feature requires the password to use the device even after a factory reset.

Re:If she wanted them to have the data (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 9 months ago | (#46416597)

Perhaps Grandma was too busy dying to be concerned about what bullshit some company was going to pull with her possession. As was the family. Apple asked for proof of ownership. Fair enough. They provided *three* forms of it. That should be the end of it.

All that bibble about "what if" is bollocks. It was her iPad, she died, it now belongs to the family who have proven that they are the family. Unlock the fucking thing.

from the grave (1)

Forget4it (530598) | about 9 months ago | (#46416441)

The mother is in the right place - she could have a word with Steve Jobs and all would get fixed. Shame he's not here on earth to kick ass for her now.

Re:from the grave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416591)

The mother is in the right place - she could have a word with Steve Jobs and all would get fixed. Shame he's not here on earth to kick ass for her now.

Except that the mother probably went to heaven.

Pretexting (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#46416457)

Get access to the e-mail address, then use the normal password reset process, to change the dead person's password..... Or if you think you know the e-mail address and probable answers to security questions: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT... [apple.com] Or... call apple support, tell them you can't access your iTunes account anymore and you lost access to your e-mail. Answer various questions about the account as the diseased would. Make sure you have access to the last 4 digits of credit card numbers, billing addresses, etc.

Make note of the security question options such as:

In what city did your parents meet?
What is the first name of your best friend in High School?
What is the last name of your favorite elementary school teacher?
What is your dream job?
What is your favorite children's book?
What was the first album that you purchased?
What was the first film you saw in the theatre?
What was the first name of your first boss?
What was the first thing you learned to cook?
What was the model of your first car?
What was the name of the first beach you visited?
What was the name of your first pet?
What was your childhood nickname?
Where did you go the first time you flew in a plane?
Where were you on January 1, 2000?
Who was your favorite film star or character in school?
Who was your favorite singer or band in high school?
Who was your favorite teacher?
Wnat is the name of your favorite sports team?

Umm, I call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416463)

I don't know what the current state of play is, but they used to have standard operating procedures for doing exactly this sort of thing in the even of someone dying - iTunes accounts, iCloud accounts etc. It was all documented and AppleCare took care of it.

The two things they can't do are :

- transfer purchases to a different account
- unlock the device for you

Basically, for most/all iPads and most iOS devices in general, if you don't know the passcode or password to the device, you are screwed WRT getting in to it(even law enforcement).

So basically, they'd have to get the services accounts reset, wipe the device from DFU mode, re-set up the device, and then pull everything back down under the old account and from backup (either iCloud backup or iTunes backup)

Thats less than ideal, but I've seen it done.

Its far more likely that :

a)they ran into an employee who didn't know what they were doing and didn't bother to read their own procedures, and has basically been a bureaucratic *&%# about it,

or

b) asked for one of the things above that can't be done, and what COULD be done wasn't explained or they didn't like that as an answer

and then they went to the media.

Personally I think they should be forced to provide a mechanism to able to consolidate accounts - you can bequeath a record collection to someone for example ...

Re:Umm, I call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416525)

Sorry just to clarify - theoretically, Apple could unlock simple pass codes - just that its not viable to do long ones.

Way to be obtuse, Apple. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 9 months ago | (#46416559)

They've now asked for a court order to prove that mum was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.

The fact the iPad is synced to the iTunes account is evidence they are owned by one and the same person.
The iTunes account has the full name, address, and credit card information of the owner on it (unless she never bought apps). That credit card account is legally tied to the deceased. Apple already holds the evidence in their own fucking billing system.

An excellent example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416565)

...of why no one should ever entrust anything important to others' control.

Power of Attorney? (1)

Sylak (1611137) | about 9 months ago | (#46416573)

Does the UK have anything like Power of Attorney in place that the executer of the estate would have to in fact say that for all legal purposes they ARE the deceased?

Just pay someone to crack the account... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416643)

Wouldn't too hard for the right person and I'm sure there's plenty of people that can sympathize with the situation and might even do it for free.

BSOD (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#46416673)

Too early?

Wrong strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46416733)

... Just call them and say you're from the NSA....

They'll give you the account details, including password, with a smile :)

It's not difficult (0)

corbosman (136668) | about 9 months ago | (#46416741)

Apple is right here. Someone should be able to show a document saying that they are the executor of the estate. This is needed for many things like bank accounts and such. It is entirely reasonable that this also applies to cloud based content. Without it, if apple would unlock the data, and someone else shows up with a proof of being executor, apple could have a problem.

We just went through all of this after my wife's mother's death, and although it's a big hassle, it's just something that has to be done. Get proof you are the executor, then claim all possessions including cloud based data. This could include things like photos which may have emotional value, so of course data is part of what the executor has to deal with.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?