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Man Dies, Woman Demands Password, Apple Says No

Man Dies, Woman Demands Password, Apple Says No

Man dies, woman demands password, Apple says no even though she supplied the Cupertino-based company with the will and death certificate.

A report from a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation notes that the widow has spent months trying to gain access to her husband’s Apple account. The company initially asked the woman to provide a will and death certificate, but once she sent them the documents Apple asked for another thing – a court order.

There are quite legit privacy and security reasons for Apple to impose such strict rules on account access, but now, it seems that they have gone a little bit too far. Even the company acknowledges this.

After the CBC got involved, Apple backed down and granted Peggy Bush, a 72-year-old resident of Victoria, BC, access to her late husband’s Apple account.

ArsTechnica asked Apple why it required a court order from Bush, but the company refused to respond.

If you take a look at Apple’s terms and conditions, it notes that, upon a person’s death, the account can be deleted, but no recovered. However, there are a lot of people that have had success in recovering the accounts of deceased loved ones.

Macworld wrote in 2014 that Apple employees are not monsters, and everyone can appeal to their human-side if they directly contact the company at iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com and discuss the situation further. Apple employees are known to have gone the mile to help people who where in dire situations. They just needed to prove that their relative has died, and that they owned the account that they were trying to gain control of.

Yet, this seems not to be case this time around.

The couple shared an iPad, and a after a card game stopped working, Peggy realized that she didn’t have the credentials to her husband’s Apple ID.

Creating a new Apple account was out of they question, as Peggy didn’t want to re-purchase all of the digital programs that she and her husband bought on the shared account, and justly so, she wanted her old one back.

Donna Bush, her daughter, contacted Apple via telephone, and spent quite a lot of time trying to recover the password. After two months of constant back and forth, with Donna providing serial numbers for the products the family bought, and even sending Apple the will her father left behind, and a notarized death certificate, the company said that it wasn’t enough, CBC writes.

After all of that, someone from Apple said that she needs a court order, Donna says. She was completely flabbergasted, noting how ridiculous that was, and the fact that the family managed to transfer everything from the title of the house, to the car, and other valuable items, just by providing the will and notarized death certificate.

Donna claims that she even wrote a letter to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, but to no avail. A customer relations representative got in touch with her and confirmed that the family had to get a court order.

Rightfully upset and fed up, the family asked the CBC for help.

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About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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