We’ve heard about Apple Watches saving people’s lives before, but here’s a new one: an iPhone which helped someone escape a forced marriage.
That’s what happened to a U.K. citizen, whose parents effectively kidnapped her by tricking her into vacationing in Bangladesh for what would have been an enforced marriage to her cousin. The incident took place in July 2016, although it only recently came to light due to a court case.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a court that she was expected to have a child with her cousin in order for him to obtain a British visa. However, using her iPhone she was able to alert her boyfriend in the U.K., who then contacted the police. They were able to locate her due to the Find My iPhone feature usually used for tracking down lost devices.
The woman’s family had threatened to murder her if she did not go along with their wishes for a wedding with her cousin. In the end, a joint operation involving the British High Commission in Bangladesh, the Forced Marriage Unit, and Bangladeshi police rescued her and returned her to her home in the United Kingdom.
The woman’s parents were found guilty in a hearing which took place at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday. They will be sentenced on Monday, June 18, although the judge has already warned that a substantial prison sentence is inevitable.
Apple first introduced the Find My iPhone feature in August 2011. It displays the location of iDevices on a world map, using GPS to pinpoint exact location.
It’s not the first time that Find My iPhone has been used to catch criminals. At this year’s Coachella music festival, a thief was foiled by the feature after stealing 100 phones. Not that a lost phone compares to a coerced marriage, of course!