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Grant with the iPad  (Source: BBC News)
Apple wants a court order

Losing someone can be a very difficult time, and we cling to their possessions as a way of holding onto them. But what happens when that possession is an iPad on lockdown?

According to BBC News, 26-year-old Josh Grant from London and his four brothers are experiencing this very issue. Their mother recently passed away from cancer, and left her iPad to the men in her will.

It was decided that the oldest brother, Patrick, should be the one to take the iPad. However, none of them obtained her Apple ID or password before she passed on. 

They attempted to show Apple their mother's will, death certificate and solicitor's letter as a way of proving they can have access to the iPad, but Apple said this wasn't enough evidence.

Apple initially asked for written consent from the owner that her five sons can have her login credentials, but that obviously is no longer an option. Now, Apple wants a court order to prove that their mother was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account.

"I thought we might use it as a shiny placemat," said Grant. "I'm a big fan of Apple, their security measures are great but we have provided so much evidence.

"At 59, my mum was fairly young, I've already lost my dad and it's a bit cold of them not to treat things on a case-by-case basis."

Apple offers security measures like Activation Lock, which makes it hard for thieves to sell a lost or stolen iPhone or iPad. It's apart of Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature, which allows you to find your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using another device.  

Source: BBC News



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Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/6/2014 1:05:46 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
They attempted to show Apple their mother's will, death certificate and solicitor's letter as a way of proving they can have access to the iPad, but Apple said this wasn't enough evidence.
This, should be MORE than enough evidence, unlock the fucking thing. God. Everyday, they show how utterly foolish they can be.




RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Reclaimer77 on 3/6/2014 1:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Dude she might come back from the dead and sue them! Think about it...


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By fic2 on 3/6/2014 1:46:32 PM , Rating: 4
Wait the standard 3 days to make sure she is not Jesus and they should be good. Unless they suspect she is Lazarus then should be good after 4 days.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By MrBlastman on 3/6/2014 2:43:32 PM , Rating: 5
If I were the kids I'd tell Apple to check with Steve and he'll verify their authenticity...


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By GulWestfale on 3/6/2014 6:56:57 PM , Rating: 4
just ask the GCHQ to have their bosses at the NSA forward their copy of the data, and you don't need apple at all.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/7/14, Rating: -1
RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By abzillah on 3/6/2014 10:13:16 PM , Rating: 5
Wouldn't that mean that their mother went to hell?


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By ProZach on 3/8/14, Rating: 0
RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By BSMonitor on 3/10/2014 9:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
Of course when Google acts like a corporation, Reclaimer's voice changes a few octaves to:

BBBBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By tonyswash on 3/6/14, Rating: 0
RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/6/2014 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 4
Yet again, you show your complete and utter ignorance. Thanks.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By retrospooty on 3/6/2014 2:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
Not once under any circumstance can he just be honest and say Apple went too far. Not even a "one off" case like this involving (I assume) a single Apple store, or perhaps a single support rep.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/6/2014 2:44:15 PM , Rating: 1
Of course not, APPLE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Motoman on 3/6/2014 1:29:31 PM , Rating: 5
I'm sure Tony will be along shortly to explain how this all makes perfect sense. Because of Apple's profit margin.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Motoman on 3/6/2014 1:30:02 PM , Rating: 3
Oh wait...he's already here...and already zeroed. Go figure.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By artemicion on 3/6/2014 7:30:12 PM , Rating: 1
Where do I go to get Google to give me my deceased family member's Nexus 7 passcode? Who do I talk to to get Samsung to give me my deceased family member's S4 passcode? For that matter, will BMW provide me with a new set of car keys if my grandmother wills me her 3 series but I can't find the keys?

Outrage @ Apple for not providing a service that NOBODY ELSE PROVIDES.

Welcome to DailyTech Comments Section.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Motoman on 3/6/2014 8:56:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Outrage @ Apple for not providing a service that NOBODY ELSE PROVIDES.


Please link substantive proof that NOBODY ELSE would help someone gain access to a device left to them by their deceased relative after providing copies of the death certificate, will, etc.

Otherwise, kindly STFU and GTFO. The point of this article is that Apple has been provided with more than enough proof to grant the request, and hasn't. Because they are d1cks.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/7/2014 8:44:00 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
For that matter, will BMW provide me with a new set of car keys if my grandmother wills me her 3 series but I can't find the keys?

Yes, they will, actually. Was that a serious question?


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By tng on 3/10/2014 7:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
LMFAO....


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By invidious on 3/6/2014 1:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's surprising that Apple's EULA doesn't have a next of kin provision granting authorized access to the account.

On a related note, every parent should be estate planning. It doesn't matter how unpleasant the thought of it is, the reality of what happens if you don't is far more unpleasant.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By CaedenV on 3/6/2014 1:55:06 PM , Rating: 3
Funny thing is that it sounds like there was some estate planning done here. Dear old Mum had a will that even listed the iPad's transfer of ownership. The thing is that most estate planning is designed around the transfer of physical goods and properties, not data and accounts. How many lawyers writing wills even think to pass on important account information as a part of a will or trust? How many people even realize that they cannot legally transfer most data and accounts?


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Argon18 on 3/6/14, Rating: 0
RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By BSquared on 3/7/2014 12:26:52 AM , Rating: 3
All of the listed companies in your post have mechanisms for accounts of the deceased.

Facebook's privacy policy prohibits the disclosure of login credentials but instead will cancel or memorialize the account of the deceased upon notification from next of kin. Google will provide access to the Google account (G+, GMail, etc) upon furnishing a death certificate as well as official documentation proving representation of estate. Microsoft, through Live accounts, has a very similar process as Google. Sony only allows cancellation of a deceased's account at the moment.

I'm pretty sure there are tons of companies, whose products we use everyday, that have contingencies for when a user passes and next of kin needs access, wishes to cancel or transfer ownership. Just seems the problem, which Apple has readdressed, was that they didn't want to divulge the login credentials, but were happy to change user access.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Iketh on 3/6/2014 1:47:58 PM , Rating: 3
the point is you could bring that evidence to apple with any iPad you wanted, they don't know if she owned it

I wonder if stating a serial number in the will is sufficient legally


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By anactoraaron on 3/6/2014 3:00:13 PM , Rating: 3
I would think they could check the serial #, but they could also check the associated iTunes account on this device for the credit card on file and match that card to their mum. If she made purchases on the app store with that card (or at the very least associated a credit card to the account) on that device and for that specific device (proven by the associated iPad serial number on her account) then there should be nothing left to prove. If all that's confirmed, they (Apple) should then unlock it.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By amanojaku on 3/6/2014 3:51:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
the point is you could bring that evidence to apple with any iPad you wanted, they don't know if she owned it
You've got to be kidding. Apple was willing to accept her written consent. How would Apple prove she wrote the letter? All that has to be done is to look up her Apple ID from her name, and then check the device ID registered with the Apple ID. If government-backed data (death certificate, will, solicitor's letter) isn't good enough, then I can't see how a written letter is anywhere close.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Strunf on 3/7/2014 11:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
hmm no, if I'm not mistaken all new Apple hardware will ask you to register with Apple and hence they know what you own, it as easy as checking a database to see if she owned or not the iPad they want to unlock.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By tayb on 3/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Manch on 3/6/2014 4:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh what?

They would have accepted a written letter from her. So how does a will she authorized and had notarized not count.

It's not ownership of the device that is in question. They want the account unlocked.

Also they had a solicitors letter!


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By tayb on 3/6/2014 5:15:07 PM , Rating: 1
A solicitors letter is meaningless unless it is backed by the court, which is what they are requesting.

A written letter would need to be notarized. Again, it is not the job of an Apple employee to try and interpret a will. That is the job of the executor. The executor needs to have the court back the interpretation of the will. A notarized letter in this case has more power than a notarized will. It's pretty ridiculous that people expect Apple employees to try and interpret a will. You can't be serious.

This is how transfer of property works. The ONLY reason this is an issue is because the children here want to save some cash and Apple is unwilling to bend their unlock policy.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By evo slevven on 3/6/2014 11:16:57 PM , Rating: 2
That was a pretty retarded answer more so with the "the children wanted to save some cash" response when it would've been more logical and understanding that they wanted to know more about their mom. As someone who lost a parent as well, it's the same act as going through a loved ones stuff. Sounds like I'm intruding but that happens a lot when you loose a loved one.

Likewise a lot of courts both in America, Europe and the UK set precedents as to what is required for a court order precedent. Additionally both the UK and the US have guidelines as to whether a court order is required. In the case of the UK where items of value and money are considered a court does uphold a letter of probate equivalent to a will IF a will is left and is found to be both valid and not in contest.

As the brothers agreed on the iPad, a court order would be required in typical cases of lack of a will, contesting of the last will and testimony or contesting of legitimate heirs to the will.

Additionally you are actually incorrect in how Apple is interpreting the events as the executor is one given the assignment of handling the assets of the estate in question in relation to the will. That would automatically denote it to a son if a lawyer was not selected in advance and need not require court authorization for any actions on their part in executing the will as long as all parties agree.

In the event there is a "disagreement" leading to a contesting of the assets then the courts need designate an administrator. An executor is different from an administrator albeit they function in a similar capacity.

If all the brothers were in agreement and a valid will is left and there is no contesting or disagreement of the will and its interpretation or the asset (being the iPad) in question then legally speaking, no you shouldn't need a court order.

You have no idea how the transfer of ownership exists in instances of deceased relatives so please sh*t your pie trap and either be informative about the material or not.

For the US, similar rules also apply but have restrictions on assets based on a state-to-state value of assets being over $10,000 and under $10,000. In some respects, if a will designates an individual and the individual presents the will (notarized), state issued death certificate as well as documentation of your identity then legal institutions are bound to hand over control of said assets granted they follow the prescribed limits of their state which can range from $5,000 and above.

This is just really a case of an Apple representative being lazy and the issue spiraling only because of said laziness and disinterest in customer service.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Shadowself on 3/6/2014 5:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The only reason this is in the news is because Apple devices cannot be reset to factory without the Apple ID and Password.
No. There is a known way of resetting the device to factory defaults without knowing anything about the account. You don't even have to turn off Activation Lock as most people believe (and Apple supports this belief).

The real issue is that they originally wanted access to her AppleID account and all the information on the iPad. This required more than just presenting documents that could have been faked. As "kmmatney" shows below, when they just wanted to reset the iPad itself so they could use it, Apple helped them. Problem solved.

And to those who believe that Apple *must* be able to associate an iPad with an AppleID account... It is very possible to activate an iPad and use an iPad without *ever* associating it with an AppleID or iTunes account. While I don't own (or use) an iPad (and likely never will for my own, personal reasons), I know several people who do and many of them refuse to have an Apple account of any kind. Thus IF the iPad was set up that way, even though she had an AppleID and account, there is no way to guarantee a priori that this specific iPad was actually tied to that account.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By stm1185 on 3/6/2014 5:03:32 PM , Rating: 2
Oh Cmon Apple is doing the right thing by keeping the Mom;s porn stash safe. Apple should wipe the device and the account, then give it back.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By JackBurton on 3/6/2014 10:41:06 PM , Rating: 1
Please stop with your anti-Apple bullsh!t. I for one am happy Apple goes to this level to protect their customers' information. I don't give a sh!t what sob story you give me. Get a court order if your relative didn't think to write down their Apple credentials before they passed. Sorry, not going to give out user information because you want a $500 device. Should have included Apple credentials in the will.

Nothing new to see here though. Just your standard anti-Apple troll BS from the usual suspects.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/7/2014 7:47:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Nothing new to see here though. Just your standard anti-Apple troll BS from the usual suspects.
And just your standard Apple can do no wrong bullshit troll.


RE: Jesus H Christ Apple....
By marvdmartian on 3/10/2014 7:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be willing to bet that they'd give the son a nice trade-in value for the mother's iPad, if he were to buy a new one. Transferring her content would, of course, necessitate a "minor" fee.


What the article doesn't say...
By kmmatney on 3/6/2014 4:07:06 PM , Rating: 3
The matter has been resolved

"Apple said confusion surrounded the iPad because Patrick asked the firm to provide his mother's Apple ID password which can’t be released without a court order.
However, the company said the matter had since been resolved after it was confirmed he actually wanted to use the iPad for himself rather than access Apple ID protected files.
The tech giant said it was then able to turn off the Activation Lock security feature which only requires a copy of the death certificate and a legal document confirming the right to transfer the deceased's property."

Basically they don't allow access to password info without a court order, but can reset the device or allow a new user.




RE: What the article doesn't say...
By bitterman0 on 3/6/2014 4:31:11 PM , Rating: 1
Apple stores user passwords with reversible encryption. That is so cute!


RE: What the article doesn't say...
By A11 on 3/6/2014 4:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Jump to conclusions more?


By bitterman0 on 3/6/2014 5:58:02 PM , Rating: 5
I stand corrected! Apple might be storing user passwords without any encryption whatsoever.


RE: What the article doesn't say...
By althaz on 3/7/2014 3:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
That is highly unlikely, I know Apple aren't exactly known for their security prowess, but a big company like that has too many engineers to let that happen.

More likely they would provide either the hash of the password (+salt) or they would crack the password - virtually any password can be cracked with enough time and effort spent on it and most people's password can likely be cracked within seconds or minutes.


RE: What the article doesn't say...
By A11 on 3/7/2014 5:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
Or much more likely, they would let the relative reset the password.


there should be data succession reform!
By Yofa on 3/6/2014 1:25:37 PM , Rating: 3
do you see what the cleverest thing is all about this cloud data movement? data disappears when people pass on. not being physical properties, it doesn't get passed on like traditional assets.

we should reform data succession, where all the music, movies, personal pictures and all get passed on to loved ones when we go away. all cloud providers should unite in providing digital "last will" exposure and management access.




RE: there should be data succession reform!
By Nortel on 3/6/2014 1:34:05 PM , Rating: 3
Read the TOC, the 'digital property' is for that individual's use. Pretty much end of the story.


By Manch on 3/6/2014 5:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's why my stuff is on disc


Bureaucrats
By aliasfox on 3/6/2014 1:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think this just needs to go a little higher up the chain - and hopefully, with publicity, it will.

I can understand the kids' being annoyed about the whole thing, but from Apple's perspective, someone brought in an unmarked iPad, which on the surface of it, is identical to tens of millions of other iPads in circulation. Sure, the guys have proof that their mother left them an iPad, but how is Apple to determine that the iPad in the will is the iPad that was brought in, and not a stolen device? It's not too difficult to understand why a low level employee wouldn't want to risk doing this.

Now that there's publicity, someone higher up at Apple can take responsibility if things go wrong - and hopefully come up with a reasonable set of procedures for this in the future.




RE: Bureaucrats
By Miratine on 3/6/2014 3:07:59 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, that the iPad has a serial number on it, and that serial number would have been registered to the mother's Apple ID. Apple could have easily just checked the serial number of the iPad and compared it to the information on the registered Apple ID to the information provided on the death certificate, etc. Yeah, we all know that there will be some that will try to do a con and fake a Death Certificate.. but the sons definitely had more than enough proof coming from more than just a death certificate.

As to other posters indicating that it's all about the digital purchases... I don't think so. I would expect that they were looking to obtain the numerous pictures and videos that were recorded on the device to help cherish their memory of their recently deceased mother. I hope that someone higher up the chain in Apple sees this situation and decides to do a little bit more digging that should have already been done and do the decent thing in this situation.


RE: Bureaucrats
By aliasfox on 3/6/2014 4:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm betting they're going to do what you described going forward. I'm going to guess there probably simply wasn't a policy/procedure in place to do this, and the guy behind the help desk (or his supervisor) didn't want to risk his job by doing something out-of-procedure that could potentially lead to fraud. If the procedure for "Unlocking device for next-of-kin/Power of Attorney" is described on page xx of the service manual, then the line worker has nothing to fear if something goes wrong.

If you've ever worked in (or with) customer service, you quickly realize the most of the best ones have scenarios for almost anything that can happen. It's when something happens that's not in a prescribed scenario (such as this) that things look really bad.


And why should Apple unlock the device?
By CaedenV on 3/6/2014 1:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
If Mum really wanted them to have access to the iPad then she could have easily given them her AppleID. Ownership of the media on the iPad is nontransferable, so it is not legal for her kids to copy all of her music and movies off of the device, and Apple is under no obligation to help these 'kids' get media that they would otherwise pay Apple for. Documents, calendars, and other such things that would be useful are likely backed up on a computer or mirrored on some other service.

Don't get me wrong, I hate Apple, but this is simply not Apple's problem or responsibility. If there was pressing information on the device it should be very simple to get a court order and Apple is well within their rights to ask for it. Mum left them a device, not an account.

I love the convenience of cloud services as a way to sync and back up data, but this is exactly why I buy DRM free digital media, or physical media that can be passed along. Wealth has always been built and maintained by the ability to pass assets down from generation to generation. While digital media and computer hardware is hardly in the 'asset' category, it still represents things that my wife and kids will not have to waste money on to repurchase down the road, freeing that money up for other (hopefully) more important things.




By HoosierEngineer5 on 3/6/2014 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
Another good reason to avoid Apple?


By JediJeb on 3/7/2014 4:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't get me wrong, I hate Apple, but this is simply not Apple's problem or responsibility. If there was pressing information on the device it should be very simple to get a court order and Apple is well within their rights to ask for it. Mum left them a device, not an account.


When you are dying of cancer there are probably things like passwords that never cross you mind to put into a will. The device cost money so that might occur to someone to put into the will, but many people don't even think about the ethereal things like passwords and accountIDs.

quote:
Documents, calendars, and other such things that would be useful are likely backed up on a computer or mirrored on some other service.


Many people only have the tablet, so no backup on other devices. Plus how many millions of people never even think to backup their files.


Consider
By sweetca on 3/6/14, Rating: 0
RE: Consider
By bigboxes on 3/6/2014 8:06:38 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry if you've been hiding your cross-dressing habit from your family and friends. In the end, it's all going to come out. When you're dead you won't care at all. The only thing you are going to be doing is decomposing.


By Disorganise on 3/9/2014 6:52:51 PM , Rating: 3
Since publication, Apple has acknowledged it misunderstood the request to unlock the device. The company has now restored the factory settings. It maintains a court order would be needed to access the iCloud.




By ipay on 3/11/2014 12:27:43 AM , Rating: 2
It says:

"Apple wants a court order to prove that their mother was the owner of the iPad and the iTunes account." .

Someone could have stolen the iPad and traded / gifted it with their neighbour (the fellow's mother). Apple wants proof that the mother was in legal possession (bill of sale) of the device AND the she also is the owner of the iTunes account (iTunes Password).

.

If I find YOUR Cellphone in the street (unlocked or I break in) am I entitled to give it to someone as a gift and tell them they can use all the accounts on it - No.

Are they (innocent 3rd Party) then entitled to do as I suggested because I gave them my permission, and they have no reason to believe that the Phone is not mine -- Yes.

The Law is different in different locations and with more information the legal advice given may change. Why have Courts when we can let you decide, instead of calling the Police everyone can simply call you. One central number for the entire Earth, saves ppl calling me.

Nothing to do with whether or not the mother gave it to the son. It is like saying the son has it in his hand so he just taps the screen, and it does what he wants -- doesn't work that way, does it.

The big Corporation doesn't want to be setup for a lawsuit.

What if it was stolen from someone else's Mother who was given it by the Army after the son died in combat -- now your correct, ya :( .




?
By kidboodah on 3/9/2014 7:40:15 PM , Rating: 1
She specifically left an iPad to them in a will?

Should I be putting it in my will who gets my hand towels, some stamps and my Pepto Bismol?




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