Use Find My iPad To Locate Your Stolen Device And You Could Be Accused Of Trespassing ‘Via Radio Wave’

Use Find My iPad To Locate Your Stolen Device And You Could Be Accused Of Trespassing ‘Via Radio Wave’

Thieves don’t like it when you track them down with your iPad.

An Australian man who used the Find My iPad feature to locate his tablet after it was stolen is being accused of trespassing “via radio wave.” A court is now trying to decide whether he acted unlawfully when he used Apple’s service to track his iPad — and the thief who stole it — via GPS.

Police recovered the stolen iPad from 49-year-old Alden Harder’s home when the owner provided them with information on its whereabouts, which was obtained using the built-in Find My iPad feature. When they arrived at the property, they also discovered a “haul” of other items, including laptops and a police officer’s badge that was reportedly stolen back in 2009.

Rather than apologizing and accepting his punishment, Harder’s lawyer is now accusing the iPad’s owner of trespassing on his property “via radio wave,” according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

”It’s very clear that [the alleged victim's] purpose was to play amateur detective and to carry out a test with the GPS in his iPhone in an attempt to obtain evidence to give police as to the location of his iPad,” he said.

Thankfully, prosecutor Keegan Lee dismissed these claims as “an absurd expansion of the definition of a trespass.”

Mr Lee said if electronic transmission were a trespass then ”I would safely say nearly everybody in this courtroom has committed that act by having a wireless router” that transmitted Wi-Fi internet through their homes and into their neighbours’ property.

Can you imagine if Harder’s lawyer had gotten his way? We’d all be afraid of using Find My iPhone or iPad for fear of being charged for trespassing.

  • nthnm

    Now that’s a lawyer you want! One that isn’t afraid to make himself look like a complete fool in front of the world to have you found not guilty, lol.

  • technochick

    This man had committed an illegal act, that this ‘trespass’ was directly linked to said act and the recovery of items illegally required should excuse it.

    Now if I had hacked my boyfriend Apple ID to track has iPhone to prove he was cheating on me, that would be different

  • RaptorOO7

    Nice attempt by the lawyer to defend his client by accusing the victim of a crime. His client stole someones valuable property, I hope they have to pay legal costs too.

    You could likely get away with tracking your boyfriend by using FindMyFriends instead which Apple included, but still I don’t think you would have too much to worry about.

    Of course this reminds me of the typical lawsuits you see from criminals who break into your house and when they get injured by you defending your person(s) and property turn around and sue and some idiot jury awards them damages.

  • theobserving

    That’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.

  • KurtErlenbach

    Such a claim would not come close to succeeding in the US. The courts that have addressed the issue here have all ruled basically that a thief has no expectation of privacy in the property he stole, and that a search via software conducted by a private person, as opposed to the police, does not implicated 4th amendment concerns. Here is a case from Florida on point: S. v. Oliveras, 65 So. 3d 1162 (5th DCA 2011), 36 F.L.W. D1573 (7/22/2011). http://www.FloridaCriminalLawReport.com/ref.php?note=18TKD5YISDJA4JR3ZI9NIUI

  • Alexandre Cassiani

    Better Call Saul

  • Andrew Newsome

    Such a claim would not come close to succeeding in the US. The courts that have addressed the issue here have all ruled basically that a thief has no expectation of privacy in the property he stole, and that a search via software conducted by a private person, as opposed to the police, does not implicated 4th amendment concerns. Here is a case from Florida on point: S. v. Oliveras, 65 So. 3d 1162 (5th DCA 2011), 36 F.L.W. D1573 (7/22/2011). http://www.FloridaCriminalLawReport.com/ref.php?note=18TKD5YISDJA4JR3ZI9NIUI

    Australia’s law system has nothing to do with what the lawyer of the thief said.
    It is the lawyer trying to get out of it. It’s got nothing to do with Australia.

    Also the article says,
    “prosecutor Keegan Lee dismissed these claims as “an absurd expansion of the definition of a trespass.””

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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