Thursday, 6 March 2014

Apple refused grieving sons' request to unlock iPad that belonged to cancer victim mother because 'they need dead woman's written consent'

A grieving son has accused Apple of having an 'utter lack of understanding and discretion' after the company refused to unlock his dead mother’s iPad - and asked for written permission from her.
Josh Grant, 26, from London, became the co-executor of his mother Anthea Grant’s will and estate with his brother Patrick when she passed away from breast cancer, aged 59, earlier this year.
He said his mother enjoyed playing games on the iPad after her husband died in 2010 and said she liked its raft of new security measures since updating to iOS7.
However, when the brothers contacted Apple following their mother’s death on January 19, they were told they would need 'written permission' from their mother to access the account.
On his blog, named Mustn’t Grumble, Josh wrote: ‘Unfortunately in her dying days she didn’t think to tell us her Apple ID password. Funnily enough, I think she had bigger things to worry about.
‘Patrick and I were named co-executors of the will and found ourselves responsible for mum’s estate.
'A tiny piece of that estate is her iPad, which my brothers and I agreed could go to Patrick.
‘In order to clear mum’s account from the iPad and set Patrick’s up they have asked for written permission from mum.’
After reiterating to Apple that their mother had passed away, Josh said the tech giant asked to see copies of her death certificate, will and a letter from the family’s solicitor.

However, this was still not enough and the brothers were then told by the US firm to provide a court order to unlock the device, invoking the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Josh, who said the court order could cost hundreds of pounds, was left disappointed with the way Apple handled the sensitive issue.
He blogged: ‘I have always been a fan of Apple but this incident has changed my opinion of them completely.
‘Their utter lack of understanding and discretion in a time of great personal sadness has been astonishing. For a company that sells itself on the idea we are all part of one big Apple family, they have been very cold.

'For a company that sells itself on the idea we are all part of one big Apple family, they have been very cold.'
Josh Grant
‘Understandably, my brother has given up and we now have a redundant iPad. If anyone has any suggestions for an unusable iPad please do send them in. I’ve suggested illuminated placemat and shiny paperweight.’
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.
The new iOS7 security measures are designed to protect users' online iCloud accounts which can be used to store personal information, documents and photographs.
In iCloud's terms and conditions, Apple warns: ‘You agree that your Account is non-transferable and that any rights to your Apple ID or Content within your Account terminate upon your death.
‘Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate your Account may be terminated and all Content within your Account deleted.'

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