Family upset that Apple won’t unlock dead son’s iPad

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iPad Pro doesn't have the latest Touch ID, but it doesn't matter.
Apple faces an ethical dilemma with the family's request.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A family whose deceased 18-year-old son left his last wishes on his personal iPad have criticized Apple for not unlocking the device for them.

Liam Wright from the U.K. died of bone cancer in December. He reportedly recorded his last wishes on his iPad because he found it too difficult to have the conversation with his family.

However, when he passed away, his family were unable to gain access to his iPad, and therefore had to have his funeral service without knowing that he had wanted.

According to Liam’s sister Kerry Lamb, they tried to gain access to the locked iPad, but “hit a brick wall” with Apple, who she says is being “ridiculous” by not helping them access the tablet. When pressed, Apple said it wouldn’t unlock the iPad unless it had a death certificate and solicitor’s letter. When these were sent, the company then claimed the family had not sent the correct information, and now wants a court order.

In addition to notes about his wishes after death, Liam Wright reportedly had numerous videos and photos stored on his Apple device, which the family would like to access.

An ethical dilemma

As undoubtedly sad as it is for the family, it’s another example of a tough ethical dilemma for Apple to navigate with its strong pro-privacy stance. It’s not the first time that Apple has faced a similar quandary. Last year, a father wrote to Tim Cook, begging him to unlock his dead 13-year-old son’s iPhone so that he could retrieve photos stored on it.

In that case, Apple’s technical staff expressed sympathy, but said there was nothing they were able to do.

While you can argue about whether Apple should try and do more to unlock devices, it’s yet another reminder of the importance of making arrangements for how your family will be able to access your devices, various online accounts, etc. in the event that you were to pass away.

Let’s hope this case can somehow be solved to everyone’s satisfaction.

Via: Daily Mail