Apple Inc Target of Harsh Criticism for Refusing to Unlock iPad of Dead Mum

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By Reissa Su | March 7, 2014 7:40 PM EST

Apple Inc has been the target of a grieving son's attack for its "utter lack of understanding and discretion" after the company denied the boy's request to unlock the iPad which belonged to his deceased mother.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook holds up the new iPad Air during an Apple event in San Francisco, California Oct. 22, 2013.

Anthea Grant left her estate to her sons Josh and Patrick Grant in London. Josh, 26, was left as co-executor of his mother's estate when she died from breast cancer recently at the age of 59. According to the Telegraph, the grieving son was stressed when Apple requested for a written permission from the owner of the iPad before unlocking it.

Mr Grant said his mother had enjoyed playing games on her iPad after the death of her husband in 2010. She was also fond of puzzle games and played in front of the television. Her iPad has been updated to the latest iOS version, iOS7, and was happy with the new operating system's security features. The device was updated weeks before her death on January 19.

After the funeral, the sons realised that their mother had forgotten to tell them her Apple ID password. Mr Grant wrote in his blog that she had other things on her mind. Since Josh and Patrick were named co-executors of the estate which included the iPad since its part of her mother's possessions, they agreed that Patrick will get their mother's tablet.

The brothers tried to restore the iPad's factory settings but they were told to request written permission from their mother. After telling the company that their mother was already dead and could no longer write the letter.

Apple then asked for a copy of their mother's death certificate, will and a letter from their solicitor. The company demanded other things from the Grant family, one of which is to provide Apple with a court order to unlock the iPad and cited the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as the reason.

Getting a court order would cost the Grant brothers 200 pounds in solicitor's fees. Mr Grant ranted about his experience on his blog, Mustn't Grumble. He wrote that he has always been a big fan of Apple and its products but his experience has changed his mind about the company.

He said his brother has given up and got another one instead.  He suggested using the redundant iPad as an "illuminated placemat" or a "shiny paperweight."

According to Apple's policies, the security measures of their devices were designed to prevent unauthorised access to the iCloud accounts of Apple users which often contain personal information, messages and photos.

Based on a BBC report, Apple said the matter has already been resolved when the company has confirmed that Mr Grant wanted to use the iPad himself rather than gaining access to files protected by his mother's Apple ID.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / )
Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook holds up the new iPad Air during an Apple event in San Francisco, California Oct. 22, 2013.
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